Talks between DMRC and Delhi Metro staff who have been threatening to go on a strike from June 30 has failed. The 9,000 strong metro staff of non-executives, has, hence announced the shutdown of their services from Saturday onwards. How long will this strike go on for is not clear as of now. The staff members came together at Yamuna Bank station as a show of strength and protested. The non-executive staff that has been protesting since June 19 include train operators, station controllers, maintenance staff, technicians staff and operations staff. Last year too, a similar protest had taken place but a full-blown strike was averted as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and staff council came to an agreement after a series of meetings.
What the protesting staff wants
Revision of salaries: The primary focus of the protests is revision of salaries. The staff members are demanding that the Rs 13,500-25,520 pay grade be integrated with the Rs 14,000-26,950 pay grade, which is what the DMRC has assured them of earlier but never followed through. Moreover, they want the top pay grade for non-executives to be set at Rs 20,600-46,500 as well as their pending arrears. "Our first demand is 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," DMRC Staff Council Secretary, Ravi Bhardwaj, said.
The DMRC has said that the pay recommendations of the third pay commission have been accepted and the government would soon push out the order. "Hence, it is not an opportune moment to press for their demand for revision of pay scales. All pay related issues shall be dealt shortly after issue of orders by the government," the DMRC said in a statement.
Guidelines for termination of employment: The staff members want specific guidelines to be set so that employees are not sacked unfairly. An employee, who had participated in a protest against the company in 2015 was sacked from his post. They are also demanding the revocation of the said employee's termination.Forming a union: The staff members are also demanding the right to form a union so that their demands can be voiced properly.