End strike or face axe, govt tells DTC workers

Bus depot staff, teachers on contract get a warning

 The AAP government on Wednesday gave an ultimatum to contractual teachers and Delhi Transport Corporation employees to end their strike or face the axe.

Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia said if people of Delhi suffer, the protesting employee would make way for new ones. Contract workers are on strike demanding that their jobs be made permanent.

Over 150 teachers on contract are protesting, and on Wednesday there was no teaching at several  government schools. Over 1,000 state-run bus services were affected due to the strike.

Sisodia said his government was commited to their pre-poll promises to regularise contractual jobs.

“First time ever, the government has set up a high-level committee to formulate guidelines for regularisation of jobs,” he said.

Sisodia, however, said the government hasn’t given protesters a deadline to call of their strike.

On the third day of strike, almost 2,500 DTC contractual employees, including drivers and conductors, protested at the Millennium Depot near Nizamuddin bus terminal demanding permanent jobs.

And at the Delhi Secretariat protesting teachers entered the 13th day of their strike. Referring to approaching school examinations, Sisodia said, “January-February is the peak time for studies. They need to do the work they were hired for.” 

“You can’t ask anybody to leave work after taking 8-10 years of services,” he said, suggesting that the committee will consider grievances of the protesting employees.

“We have asked the committee to consider relaxation of age limit,” he added.

He said that no contractual employees will be removed before the committee submits its recommendations. 

But giving an ultimatum to protesters, he said, “The processes of the government can’t be bypassed. If they don’t get back to work, we will hire new people to do their job.

 Common men are facing problems, our kids' education is suffering.”  

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Transport Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj on Tuesday met the protesting DTC employees. “We empathise with them but they can’t be hired on their terms,” said Sisodia.

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