Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Centre moves court against striking motormen

The Union Government has moved the Bombay High Court seeking a direction to the striking motormen to resume work, officials said on Tuesday.
The court is expected to hear the application later in the day.
Motormen are on an indefinite hunger strike since Monday evening demanding a wage hike. The strike has crippled train services in the city.

170 striking motormen taken into custody
At least 170 striking motormen were taken into custody on Tuesday at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) here on charges of unlawful assembly and obstructing rail employees from reporting to their duties.
“About 170 motormen have been taken into custody for the offence of unlawful assembly. We have deployed adequate police force at all the stations in Western and Central Railway to avoid any violent situation,” Government Railway Police (GRP) Commissioner Tukaram Chavan told PTI.
The motormen taken into custody will be subsequently arrested, he said.
Earlier, 20 motormen were dismissed as they refused to report for work, railway officials said.
The hunger strike by motormen demanding salary and allowances hike has crippled normal life in Mumbai with offices recording a thin attendance.

Sena withdraws support to motormen strike


The Shiv Sena on Tuesday withdrew its support to the ongoing motormen strike in Mumbai taking note of the inconvenience caused to the commuters, even as the BJP appealed to the agitators to call off their protest.
“We have withdrawn our support to the motormen strike after Sena Chief Bal Thackeray ordered us to do so. The commuters are having lot of trouble and the city has been stranded since yesterday,” Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut told PTI in Mumbai.
The strike by motormen demanding hike in wages and allowances has brought suburban rail services to a crawl in the metropolis.
“Shiv Sena wants that the motormen’s demands should be fulfilled by the government. However, harassing the commuters in this way is not correct,” he said.
Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde has also appealed to the motormen to called off their strike.
“The struggle is against government and not the public and inconvenience should not be caused to public in any way due to the struggle,” Mr. Munde said.
Both the parties demanded that the Railway Ministry take immediate steps to address the grievances
“The Railway Ministry is silent on the demands of the motormen who had given notice regarding the strike six months back,” Mr. Munde told reporters outside Parliament.
Shiv Sena leader Anant Geete said the situation in Mumbai was “explosive” and riots may break out if immediate steps were not taken to end the strike.
“People are on the roads and riots can break out anytime if the situation was not tackled immediately. Railway Ministry should take steps to end the strike,” he said.
The two leaders said the opposition will not allow Parliament to function till the grievances of the motormen are addressed.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee should take immediate steps to address the issue and make statement in Parliament, they said.
Meanwhile, suburban train services in Mumbai continued to be disrupted for the second day on Tuesday due to the strike called by motormen demanding a hike in salary and allowances.
Raj to motormen: Get back to work… or else!
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Tuesday warned motormen to call-off their strike else his party would oppose it “in their style”.
“The motormen should withdraw the strike till afternoon else my party would oppose the strike in their style,” Mr. Raj Thackeray told reporters here.
“The people have seen what happens when MNS gets into the protest, he said, adding the government also should take strict action against the motormen. We have sympathy towards the demands of the motormen but harassing the commuters in this way is not correct,” Mr. Raj Thackeray said.
The motormen should start working by evening and give some relief to Mumbaikars, he said.

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