The longest ever Haryana roadways employees’ strike which entered its 18th day on Friday finally came to an end, after the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s intervention.
The assurance to call off the strike was given by four employee union leaders, including president of Haryana roadways workers union, Hari Narayan Sharma before the High Court on Friday. The employees’ union leaders assured the High Court that the roadways employees would join their duty by 10 am on Saturday.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Arun Palli also asked the State Government to take back all the suspended and dismissed employees immediately, said senior advocate Anupam Gupta, who was appointed as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter.
The bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Arvind Sethi on Thursday.
While fixing November 14 as the next date of hearing in the matter, the bench directed the Haryana government not to take any action against the striking employees till then.
Haryana Advocate General B R Mahajan assured the court that the government will resolve the matter with the protesters amicably.
The roadways buses will start plying across the state from 10 am on Saturday, union leader Hari Narayan Sharma said while talking to the mediapersons here.
The court order stated, “Till next date of hearing, no coercive action including arrest of any of the office bearers or employees/members of the union and other employees of State Transport Department shall be effected. The orders passed by the state authorities in respect of suspension, disciplinary proceedings and dismissal of employees on probation shall remain suspended till further orders of the court and all the employees shall be permitted by the state authorities to join and attend to their respective duties immediately. Any proceedings or action pending against any of the employees under Haryana Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1974 shall remain in abeyance till further orders.”
The HC also asked the government and union leaders to make earnest and sincere efforts to sit together to resolve the issue.
Defying ESMA order, the employees had been on strike since October 16 against the State Government's decision to hire 700 buses from private owners. There are about 19,000 employees in the Haryana Roadways.
The roadways, having a fleet of 4,100 buses, cater to about 12 lakh passengers daily.
The Transport officials have maintained that the 18 days strike has caused a loss of around Rs 8-9 crore to the state roadways every day.
The Haryana Roadways employees' coordination committee had on Thursday announced to hold a 'Save Roadways, Protect Employment' rally at Jind on November 4.
In the past few days, opposition parties, employees under Sarv Karmachari Sangh and the Haryana Karamchari Mahasangh and gram panchayats, khap leaders in Haryana had also lent their support to the roadways employees’ strike.
The longest ever roadways strike had badly hit the public transport services despite the State Government making alternate arrangements, including appointing drivers and conductors and hiring buses.