The strike by Maharashtra’s state transport workers entered its third day on Thursday, affecting Diwali travel plans of thousands of people and costing the transport body crores in losses. The workers have been negotiating with the administration but have refused to call off the strike till they are paid better salaries.

State Transport Minister Diwakar Raote met workers’ unions on Wednesday evening, the Hindustan Times reported. They held a six-hour-long meeting, but the talks failed.

“We offered whatever we could,” the newspaper quoted Raote as saying. “We cannot give them one penny more than what we have offered. Now the union leaders have to take a call.”

Maharashtra State ST Kamagar Sanghatana is leading the strike with the support of six other labour unions. The unions want their salaries revised based on the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission.

Workers of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation have been on strike since Monday midnight, days before the Diwali holidays. It has affected people travelling for the festival. Lakhs of passengers use the 17,000 state buses that operate across Maharashtra every day. The state government had asked private vehicles to fill in.

The corporation has incurred losses of nearly Rs 19 crore because of the strike, The Hindu reported, quoting unidentified officials.

Moreover, the Bombay High Court will hear a Public Interest Litigation on Friday, asking for the strike to be declared illegal, The Times of India reported.