Passengers continued to face hardship as the strike called by a union of drivers and conductors of cluster buses entered its second day today. It was a longer-than-usual wait for people at bus stands across the city as few orange cluster buses, operated by the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS), plied on the roads. Office goers had a tough time reaching their workplace. The Audyogik Kamgar Vikas Union, which had called the strike to protest against the non-payment of salaries as per the new rates of minimum wages, said drivers and conductors will continue with it till their demands are not met.
A five-member delegation of protesting drivers and conductors met a senior government official at the chief minister’s residence for talks but no headway could be made. “We are demanding salary as per the new rates of minimum wages, but the government is not serious about our issues. We will continue with the strike tomorrow,” Pramod Tomar, the president of the union, said. He added there were around 2,200 cluster buses plying across the national capital with 18,000 drivers and conductors.
“Only around 5 to 6 per cent of the 2,200 buses, plied on the roads,” Tomar said. The Delhi Transport Corporation has around 4,000 buses. As per the new minimum wages implemented in March, an unskilled worker is to be given a minimum Rs 13,350 per month. For semi-skilled and skilled persons, the minimum wages are Rs 14,698 and Rs 16,182 per month, respectively.