Delhi Metro's non-executive staff say that they might resume strike after High Court hearing on July 6 if their demands of a pay hike aren't met.
The Delhi High Court on Friday put a stay on strike by the Delhi Metro staffers, saying that the metro service is a public utility which caters to about 25 lakh people in the city. The employees were planning to go on a strike from Friday midnight.
"I am inclined to grant ad-interim relief as sought in the application, accordingly, the respondents are restrained from going on strike on June 30 or till further orders," said the court. A notice has been issued to the concerned representatives of the employees striking and posted the matter to July 6.
The employees said that they have shelved the protest for the time being, but have threatened to go on complete hunger strike and work in that condition if the 'eight-point demand' presented by the non-executive staff of Delhi Metro is not met by 29 June. They will present their case before the court.
"We respect the high court's decision and have cancelled the strike, but will keep demanding our rights through protests and wearing black bands," said the council's secretary Ravi Bhardwaj. "The strike has only been postponed, not cancelled. If our demands are not met, we will strike again, but before that, we will go through the legal procedure," he said.
He has threatened to go on complete hunger strike and work in that condition if their demands are not met in the next few days. "If anything happens to our members or the commuters then the DMRC shall be responsible for it," said Bhardwaj.
"People are stuck in the same pay grade for the past 10 years," said general secretary of DMRC employees union Mahaveer Prasad.
One of the primary demands of the staff members is a revision of salaries and pay grades, and payment of arrears. Other demands include the right to form a union and fixed guidelines for sacking an employee only in extreme conditions.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday that his government might impose the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) so as to ensure smooth functioning of the Delhi Metro, but appealed to the employees to not resort to it.