New Delhi, June 30: In a big relief to Delhiites, the Delhi Metro services will function as usual on Saturday as the High Court restrained the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) staffers from going on a strike ’till further notice’. At least 9000 non-executive staffers had threatened to go on indefinite strike from midnight 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,” the court said in its order.

Earlier in the day two rounds of talks held between the DMRC authorities and representatives of the DMRC Staff Council but they failed to reach a consensus.

DMRC Staff Council to Continue Protest

However, the DMRC Staff Council said that it would continue their protests till their demands are met. “We respect the high court’s order and will defer the strike but our protest will continue until our demands are met. We’ll keep providing services by sporting black bands as a mark of our protest. If our demands are not heard, our protests will go stronger,” DMRC Staff Council secretary Ravi Bhardwaj said while talking to reporters after the court’s order.

What are their demands?

  • Revision of salaries: The key demand of the protesting DMRC employees is revision of salary. As per a report they want Rs 13,500-25,520 pay grade to be merged with the Rs 14,000-26,950 pay grade, which is what they were assured of earlier .The DMRC staffers are also demanding that the apex pay grade for non-executive employees be set at Rs 20,600-46,500.
  • Guidelines for sacking an employee: In a bid to avoid unfair sacking, the staffers are also demanding specific guidelines for termination of an employee. If reports are to be believed they are demanding revocation of an employee who was fired  from his post in 2015 for protesting against the company.
  • Formation of an union: The DMRC staffers are also demanding right to form a union so that their voice can be heard properly.

Delhi Govt to Accept Their Genuine Demands

Following the order,  Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said that the government is of the view that all genuine demands of the employees should be accepted.  “Delhi Govt is of the view that all genuine demands of the employees should be accepted and is equally committed to ensure smooth functioning of DMRC,” a tweet quoting Gehlot was posted by news agency ANI on Friday evening.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also urged the DMRC employees to call off the strike and resolve the matter. “Whereas all genuine demands of Metro employees shud be met, strike wud cause inconvenience to lakhs of people. Strike shud not take place. Whereas govt imposing ESMA as last resort, I wud urge employees to not resort to strike,” Kejriwal tweeted.