Officials of the Transport department have assured a meeting with the Chief Minister on February 8 to the Punjab Roadways-PRTC Contractual Employees Union. As a result, the union has withdrawn the restriction imposed on seating more than 52 passengers and the related rules. The union had enforced this ban in protest against the ‘hit and run’ laws enacted by the center and the anti-employee policies of the state government, causing significant difficulties for travellers. Department officials, during a meeting with the union, assured them that their demands would be considered during the meeting with the Chief Minister on February 8.
Consequently, the union has lifted the restriction on seating more than 52 passengers. During the meeting chaired by the union’s state president Resham Singh Gill and Secretary Shamsher Singh Dhillo, speakers mentioned the need to make this decision after witnessing the difficulties faced by the people. They highlighted the challenges people were experiencing in reaching their destinations due to the reduced number of government buses in Punjab. The union, not wanting to trouble passengers, has approved standing travel for more passengers so that more people can reach their destinations. Dhillo stated that all assurances given by the government to regularize contractual employees are turning out to be empty promises. The union will not tolerate the various tactics being employed by the department to harass contractual employees.
The speakers also mentioned that the new transport policy of the center is putting pressure on drivers and transporters. This policy will never be accepted, and the union will intensify protests in the future if changes are not made to the amendments in the transport policy introduced by the center. Holding the state government responsible, they criticized the conditions leading to the suspension of employees. They suggested modifying departmental conditions because these conditions result in the constant threat of suspension hanging over employees.
They emphasized that any employee facing suspension should be given an opportunity to present their side before any action is taken. Additionally, the union leaders called for the unconditional reinstatement of approximately 400 suspended employees. They demanded a review of the departmental conditions, considering the impact that these conditions have on the continuous suspension of employees. They urged that employees should be given a fair hearing before any suspension is implemented.