Delhi metro services may be severely hit as staff threaten strike from tomorrow


Metros, Delhi

The protest is over issues, such as pay-scale revision, changing DMRC Staff Council to a employees union and proper rules to fire employees.

The DMRC Council members warned that they would completely stop work from June 30 if their demands were not met. (Representative image)

New Delhi: Delhi Metro services might be severely affected from Saturday as the non-executive staff of the transporter have threatened to go on a strike, if their demands are not met by then.

There are nearly 12,000 people employed with the transporter, with non-executive staffers accounting for about 9,000.

Some of the non-executive staff of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) have been demonstrating at a few metro stations, including Yamuna Bank and Shahdara, since June 19 in support of their eight-point demand.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Staff Council had given a call to every member to join the agitation, but not all have participated in the stir. The non-executive workforce which forms a major component in the operation of the rapid rail network includes train operators, station controllers, operations and maintenance staff and technicians.

Some of the council members have been protesting over a number of issues, including pay-scale revision, modification of DMRC Staff Council as an employees union, proper guidelines for sacking of an employee and that too in extreme conditions.

The council said the demands have been sent to Delhi Metro authorities and Union Urban Affairs Ministry.

"Our first demand is that that the DMRC Staff Council be changed to a DMRC employees union as the council is not a constitutional body and so, it does not have any teeth. Other demands include implementation of our Industrial Dearness Allowance (IDA) as per the 3rd pay revision scale," the council's secretary, Ravi Bhardwaj, said.

A senior DMRC official, when contacted, said: "There is a possibility of services shutting down if no agreement is reached, but we are hopeful of reaching a resolution."

He also claimed that during these protests over the past several days "metro services have not been affected."

In a statement issued later in the evening, the DMRC said, "In connection with the HR issues pertaining to a section of the employees in the DMRC, this is to inform that a meeting was held today at the office of the Regional Labour Commissioner (RLC)." All the issues raised by the employees are under discussion and all possible efforts are being made to reach a mutually acceptable resolution as early as possible."

Bhardwaj said a meeting has been called for Friday morning.

He said on the first day of the protest many employees - from drivers to station controllers and other staff - wore black armbands to register their protest.

"Subsequently, when the DMRC did not take cognisance of our demands, we went on symbolic hunger strike, when many of our members did not consume food while on duty and demonstrated by sitting on platforms," he said.

"If our demands are not met by June 29, we will go on complete hunger strike and work in that condition, and drivers will drive trains in that condition. And, if anything happens to our members or to commuters then the DMRC shall be responsible for it," Bhardwaj said.

"Even then if our voices are not heard by DMRC authorities, we will completely stop work from June 30," he claimed.