Mumbai motormen end strike

MUMBAI Tue May 4, 2010 7:09pm IST

Commuters cross railway tracks in Mumbai May 4, 2010. A strike by motormen of Mumbai's famed suburban trains, which threw city travel out of gear, was called off on Tuesday evening, following an assurance their demands would be looked into, officials said. REUTERS/Arko Datta

Commuters cross railway tracks in Mumbai May 4, 2010. A strike by motormen of Mumbai's famed suburban trains, which threw city travel out of gear, was called off on Tuesday evening, following an assurance their demands would be looked into, officials said.

Credit: Reuters/Arko Datta

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MUMBAI (Reuters) - A strike by motormen of Mumbai's famed suburban trains, which threw city travel out of gear, was called off on Tuesday evening, following an assurance their demands would be looked into, officials said.

The strike, which started on Monday with motormen going on a fast to demand a pay hike, left thousands of office goers, college students and businessmen stranded during morning rush hour on Tuesday.

The suburban railway is Mumbai's lifeline and ferries more than 6 million commuters during peak hours everyday.

"After discussion they called off the strike," R. R. Patil, home minister of Maharashtra, told reporters. He said a committee would be formed to assess the demands of the motormen and submit its report by June 15.

A.K. Singh, public relations officer of the Central Railway, said discussions had been held between the state home minister and the chairman of the railway board.

Parliament was also disrupted on Tuesday over the strike, with opposition parties demanding an immediate solution on the issue.

Lawmakers had halted proceedings in both houses of parliament delaying discussion on the finance bill. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha later in the evening.

Cancelled trains early Tuesday left commuters fuming, as taxies and autos, the other public transport in the city besides crowded buses, were stretched.

Despite the inconvenience to commuters in India's financial hub, stocks, bonds and forex trading was largely unaffected.

(Reporting by Meenakshi Sharma, Rajendra Jadhav and Swati Pandey and Bappa Majumdar; Editing by Rosemary Arackaparambil)

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