Haryana Roadways Employees Oppose Privatisation; Plan to Protest Outside CM’s Residence on Nov 26
The battle against privatisation resumed in Haryana as the state's Roadways employees geared up for another round of protests. Employees are seething over the government's move to introduce private buses on multiple routes, a decision that has sparked outrage among the workforce.
This isn't the first time that the Haryana government has attempted to bring private players into the state's public transportation sector under the ‘Kilometer Scheme’. However, the Roadways employees have stood united in their opposition to these efforts in the past, receiving staunch support from the people of Haryana.
In the latest development, all the unions representing Haryana Roadways have joined forces to establish a unified platform, marking the start of a new movement. The Haryana Roadways Workers' Joint Front [Sanjha Morcha] has voiced its concerns, accusing the BJP-JJP government of granting unlimited private bus permits to their favoured business associates on as many as 265 routes.
This move has been met with strong resistance, prompting the Front to conduct a two-day signature campaign at bus stops across the state on October 26-27. The campaign gathered approximately 5 lakh signatures, underscoring the widespread opposition to the government's privatisation policies.
Senior leaders of the Sanjha Morcha have emphasised that the government's intent to hand over the people's preferred, affordable, and secure government transportation services to private entities is neither people's nor the Roadways employees' desire. The demand for private permits does not stem from either group, but the private permit policy has caused significant inconvenience to the general public, they said. People are increasingly voicing their grievances over the government's inability to provide services on private buses.
The general secretary of the Haryana Roadways Workers' Union and leader of the Sanjha Morcha, Sumit Sevach, stated in his statement, "The government should immediately withdraw the proposed private bus permit policy and implement the demands accepted by the Transport Minister on March 10 and June 23. This includes resolving all types of salary disparities for operators, drivers, clerks, and workshop employees. It also entails reinstating the old pension scheme, providing risk allowances, dissolving the Skill Development Corporation, promoting Group D employees outside the common cadre, confirming the appointments of all employees hired between 1992 and 2004 from their appointment dates into the old pension scheme, and confirming all types of contract employees, including the 52 helpers hired for drivers and Dadri Depot in 2016."
In a stern warning to the government, leaders of the Sanjha Morcha have declared that if their demands are not met, Haryana Roadways employees from across the state will stage a demonstration at the chief minister's residence on November 26, 2023. Furthermore, in an act of protest against what they perceive as government betrayal, a one-day strike is scheduled for December 28.
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