In response to allegations that Punjab Roadways hired unskilled drivers, employees of the company went on strike. Punjab Roadways’ buses remained off the roads throughout the day, numbering between 1,700 and 1,800.
As a result of outsourcing, 28 untrained drivers were recruited by the department, according to protesting drivers and conductors. Among other places, the roadways have depots in Ferozepur, Pathankot, Moga, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Ludhiana, and Anandpur Sahib.
Workers protested alleged hiring of 28 untrained outsourced drivers on Punjab Roadways, Punbus, and PRTC, according to Harkesh Vicky, vice-president of the Punjab Roadways, Punbus, and PRTC Contract Workers’ Union. Through outsourcing, they are hiring untrained drivers. Driving public buses is a matter of public safety, so we oppose such hiring. A well-trained driver is essential,” he said.
Work had been suspended at the workshops since Thursday afternoon for drivers, conductors, and employees. Punjab Roadways and Punbus bus services remained suspended due to their strike on Friday as well.
During the Congress era, state workers’ salaries were increased by the state government, according to Shamsher Singh, general secretary of the union. “Our salaries were increased by 5% every year by the state government at the time. However, the department’s management has not yet processed it. October was the due date for the increment.”
Conductors at the same post were being paid different salaries, according to union leaders. “They should pay them the same salary”, they added. According to the workers, the strike will continue until Tuesday.
Punbus Contractual Workers’ Union protest forced passengers in Muktsar to face a lot of hardships today. As of afternoon, no buses were allowed to leave or enter the local bus stand because protesters blocked the entrance.
In Ropar and Nangal, protesters said they opposed hiring some drivers on an outsourcing basis.