Haryana invokes ESMA to stop transport department strike

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The Haryana government has invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to stall a one-day strike by bus workers on September 5, officials said today. The same law is being invoked to end a continuing strike by a section of government health workers. The Haryana government has prohibited strike by the employees of the State Transport Department or Haryana Roadways for a period of six months under the Haryana Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1974, with immediate effect, an official spokesman said here. Haryana Roadways workers had given the strike call to protest against the governments move to allow private buses to run within and from the state. The spokesman said any strike by them would gravely affect public travel and safety. The decision has been taken in the public interest, he said. During the past year, the Haryana Roadways workers have gone on strike on a few occasions in support of different demands. The multi-purpose health workers are demanding the status of a technical cadre and also want an