On the eve of Diwali, Advocate Gunaratna Sadavarte called for an ST workers’ strike on November 6th but this year ST employees have turned their backs on his call. Even after the announcement of the strike, 100 percent of the bus trips were running smoothly from all 250 stations in the state.
It seems that the ST strike called by Gunaratna Sadavarte has failed. An agitation called out by the MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) workers union, led by Advocate Gunaratna Sadavarte, called out to demand a 7th pay commission for the workers.
ST bus driver Shankar Surve said, “We did not respond to Sadavarte because he was interested in his personal benefit and fame. Last time also, he earned his share of publicity and left to fight with our fate; we lost many bus drivers to depression. Now we are not taking this man seriously.”
While some leaders said that the state government would hear out the issues and resolve it.
When we asked Sadavarte about the recent allegations made by the ST Workers’ of personal gain and fame and the need for this strike, he told Afternoon Voice, “We have kept our demands in front of the Maharashtra government and they have agreed to it, as the current government is not like the previous Thackeray-led government.”
BJP MLC Pravin Darekar said, “Union Workers’ are divided into various groups that have different leaders and there might be some clashes internally but as per the state government’s point of view, the Shinde government will be hearing out on the issues of ST Workers’ to find out the solutions.”
Some opposition leaders have differences of opinion in this regard; they believe that “Sadavarte is misusing the workers, as he has called for the strike only for his personal gains and political advantage.”
“Sadavarte has misled the workers of MSRTC,” said union leader Shashank Rao. “Leaders of the union workers need to protest for their rights but Sadavarte is a lawyer by profession; he is baking the opportunity for his own advantage; he has done fraud at ST Workers Bank.”.
Reacting to the recent allegations and issues of the workers strike, BJP MLC Sadabhau Khot said, “Our union workers are not supporting the strike as we are in dialogue with the government and they will be looking into the matter. Ahead of Diwali, we don’t want commuters to face inconvenience.”
Manohar Mane, a frequent traveler, said, “The union of MSRTC workers should understand that they shouldn’t go on strike ahead of the festival. People travel to meet their family or relatives; there can even be a medical emergency. Students won’t be able to travel from place to place. In this situation, private travelers charge too much”.
Kaamgar leader Republican Sena Ramesh Jadhav said, “There might be some clashes among the workers as some people would support their union leader’s words while some of them would stand for their rights and we would also support those people who are correct”.