Transport contract staff continue strike, bus services affected in South Bengal
Bus services were affected in several parts of the state as a number of South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC) contract workers went on strike on Sunday.
The protesting staff, mainly drivers and their assistants, threatened to strike indefinitely if their demands were not met. They demand equal pay for equal work with regular staff, the regularization of jobs among other things, we learn.
Of the 70-80 buses departing from SBSTC’s Durgapur depot, only 15-20 carried passengers due to lack of staff. In Bankura, nearly 160 contract workers demonstrated in front of the SBSTC depot. The strike is also being observed in Purulia where the government bus service is only available on 12 routes compared to 30 routes previously.
Transport Minister Snehashis Chakraborty called on workers to withdraw their strike. “I will try to resolve their demands to the best of my ability. We all know that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is a popular leader. We understand that contract workers too have families to support. I appealed to them for the general public to be harassed as it is time for Durga Puja. Such acts do not befit them,” he said.