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January 23, 2021

Metro bus staff goes on strike over non-payment of salaries

Islamabad

January 23, 2021

Islamabad:Thousands of people faced difficulties due to suspension of metro bus service (MBS) once again here on Friday. The Metro Bus Authority (MBA) employees have demanded payment of salaries otherwise they will not ply buses. The protesters also demanded to immediately suspend Operational Managers for cutting their salaries. The drivers of busses have claimed that concerned authority did not pay them salaries for over three months. Some protesters also threatened to commit suicide if authorities concerned did not pay them salaries.

Unfortunately, the Punjab government has failed to resolve salary issue of employees, therefore, employees have stopped busses anytime and anyplace. The drivers of metro busses went on strike on Friday as the authority failed to fulfill its promise regarding payment of employee’s salaries regularly. Negotiations between management and MBA employees continued to call off the strike but protesters did not agree to ply busses till the filing of this report.

Metro Bus Authority (MBA) Director Miss Shumaila told ‘The News’ that all drivers went on strike due to non-payment of their salaries. “We have already paid all dues of employees to private companies from which we had hired employees. We don’t know why private companies not paying salaries and other pending dues,” she said. She said that employees are not protesting against metro bus management but against the private companies. In a question, she said that buses would come on roads after successful talks otherwise not.

Talking to ‘The News’ thousands of passengers particularly ladies said that why PTI government is not resolving this issue permanently. The residents of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are continuously facing travelling difficulties for months but Punjab government is watching the whole drama with closed eyes.

Shazia Minhas, a passenger said that metro busses suddenly stopped here on Friday. “I was going to my office but the driver of the metro bus announced a strike of busses,” she said. She said that the Punjab government should resolve this issue permanently.

Muhammad Rehan, another passenger said it seemed that there was no government here in the country. The sitting government has increased public difficulties rather to reduce them. Why the government is not resolving this issue permanently, he denounced.

In the months of November and December 2020, passengers faced a hell-like situation due to a prolonged strike of employees. The Metro Bus employees closed ticketing booths and all other operations of buses. The protesters shut down all entry and exit points of metro stations and laid down on metro tracks and raised anti-government slogans on the occasion.

The protesters said that MBA was telling lie because they were getting salaries from Metro Bus management before it rather than any other private company. It is worth mentioning here that hundreds of metro bus employees in Lahore are also protesting against the non-payment of their salaries for over four months.