Delhi Metro May Face Total Shut-Down From Monday As Support Staff Warn Of Strike

The non-executive staff of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) have started a sit in at several Metro stations for salary parity. The staff are also demanding that the action taken against some employees who had been spearheading the campaign should be revoked.

The agitating Metro employees have threatened a complete “shutdown” on Monday if their demands are not heard.

“The non-executive staff of DMRC have started a sit in at multiple stations such as Dwarka, Yamuna Bank, Badarpur, Shahdara, Qutub Minar, and Vishwa Vidyalaya. The staff are sitting on the platforms with black bands on their on their arms,” said Anil Kumar Mahato, the secretary of the Staff Council.

However, there has been no report of disturbance in Metro operations due to the protest, so far.

According to Mahato, all 9,000 of the non-executive staff, which include train operators and station crew, have extended their support to the agitation.

“We were assured on May 29, 2015, that our pay scales would be increased by a grade. We were in Schedule C then, and we are still getting paid under schedule C now. Even after two years, there has been no change,” said Mahato, who has also demanded their allowances be according to the same as what ‘officers’ make under Schedule A.

Their other demands include the formation of a union. “We have a staff council, but they have no power… The DMRC constantly tries to silence and oppress anybody who speaks up. We need a union to be able to fight for our rights,” added Mahato.

The staff members had raised similar demands and staged a protest earlier this year too, which they had allegedly called off after reassurances by the administration. “Nothing has been done so far. In turn, they have taken action against me and other people seeking justice,” said Mahato.

In a letter to the Managing Director (MD), Delhi Metro, he has sought cancellation of charge sheet against him and one Ravi Bhardwaj filed for leading the protest. Mahato also demanded to revoke of termination order against another colleague, Vinod Shah.

The staff members have now threatened to go on a strike and a “total shutdown” of services from Monday if their demands are not met.

According to an agency report, the DMRC, in an attempt to quell the protest, has asked its employees to refrain from ‘the path of agitation. “The issues raised by the agitating staff was an attempt to ‘push their personal agenda to cause disruption’. The management is alive to its responsibility towards staff welfare. All concerned employees are requested to stay away from the path of agitation and not to fall for rumours and issues of alleged injustices,” a PTI report said.

DMRC officials and some passengers maintained that operations were not affected gravely on Friday.

The DMRC spokesperson also said that they were working to resolve the issues. “These are internal HR issues and we are handling these within the framework of our organisational rules and regulations,” said the spokesperson.

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