Protesting HRTC piecemeal workers worried about future

Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 18

Around 1,000 piecemeal workers of Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC), who have gone on tool-down strike across the state, are worried about their future. "Most of us have spent 8-10 years with the HRTC in the hope that we would be made contractual workers after 5-6 years and eventually regularized," said Khem Chand, president of the piecemeal employee union.

"As per policy, piecemeal workers were taken on contract till 2017. After 2017, the HRTC management has not taken anyone on contract. As piecemeal workers, we are paid only when we work and our salary doesn't go beyond Rs 5,000 or Rs 6,000 per month. Besides, there are no facilities for us. We have given 8-10 years to the HRTC in the hope of contractual job. Where will we go now?" he asked.

Hopes dashed

Most of us have spent 8-10 years with the HRTC in the hope that we will be contractual workers after five-six years and eventually regularised — Khem Chand, president, Piecemeal employees union

The piecemeal workers work in 30 depots across the state and are entrusted with the task of maintenance of the HRTC fleet.

Joint Coordination Committee of the HRTC employees feel it would be difficult to run buses if the piecemeal workers do not end their strike soon. "Around 2,500 HRTC buses are operational at the moment. How long could they continue to run without the required maintenance and repair work," said Khemender Gupta, secretary of the Joint Coordination Committee.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service
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