High court stays proposed strike by DMRC employees

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New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) Ahead of a proposed indefinite strike by Delhi Metro employees from Saturday, the Delhi High Court on Friday restrained them from doing so “till further notice”.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is engaged in a dispute with a section of its employees over pay-scale and payment of arrears. The 9,000 non-executive employees of the Corporation had threatened to go on strike from Saturday if their demands were not met.

“Considering the fact that the petitioner (DMRC) is running a public utility service which caters to 25 lakh citizens of Delhi on a daily basis, who come largely from middle income group…, I am inclined to grant ad-interim relief as sought in the application.

“Accordingly, the respondents (general secretary, Metro Staff Council and others), are restrained from going on strike from June 30 or till further orders in the matter,” read the court order.

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The non-executive segment of employees comprise station controllers, drivers, technicians and other maintenance staff, and are ones who facilitate day-to-day operations of the Metro.

Their downing of tools would mean bringing the entire network to a grinding halt, resulting in immense trouble to the city commuters.

They had launched a symbolic strike from June 19 onwards by sitting on the platforms, wearing black band on their arms and boycotting the lunch and rest hours. They later threatened to go on complete boycott of work from June 30.

The bone of contention, the employees said, is a 2007 rule of the DMRC, through which the corporation had formed two different pay-scales for executive and non-executive staff, entitling the former for same pay-grade as given to Schedule ‘A’ public sector units and a lower and different grade for the latter.

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As per a compromise struck between the employees and the DMRC on July 23 last year, the Corporation was to make some modification in the pay-grade and grant employees arrears from July 1, 2015. But the deal fell through which led the employees to take to the path of agitation.

–IANS

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