Karnataka transport employees’ strike: Govt threatens to enforce ESMA and ‘no work, no pay’ norm | Bengaluru News – Times of India
The government declared that it would strictly deal with the strike and will not have negotiations with the employees anymore.
The employees of road transport corporations are set to go on a strike on wage related issues from April 7.
Workers of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC), under the banner of Karnataka State Road Transport Employees League have given a call for strike from April 7.
“The government has agreed eight out of nine demands and we have already announced their implication. But, it is not possible to meet the ninth demand of implantation of the 6th pay commission. We appeal the employees to call off the strike,” said chief secretary P Ravi Kumar following a meeting of officials convened by chief minister BS Yediyurappa.
Hike in their salary in accordance with the recommendation of the 6th pay commission on par with the government employees has been the main demand of the employees of all four transport corporations.
“The government wants to effect an 8 per cent salary hike immediately, but the election code of conduct prevents it. I have written to the Election Commission of India seeking its permission. The salary hike will be announced immediately if we get the approval, otherwise we need to wait till the elections are over,” said Ravi Kumar.
He explained that the government is increasing salaries of transport corporations employees once in four years regularly whereas the pay commission for government takes five to ten years.
He said the government had spent Rs 2,100 crore on the salaries during the lockdown and order has been issued to pay salaries till June despite the huge losses the transport corporations incurring. He estimated the cumulative loss at Rs crore per day.
“As far as the strike is concerned, the CM has instructed us to deal with it very strictly. We will not negotiate with the employees anymore, instead we will take action against them for violation of law,” said Ravi Kumar said.
He said the Disaster Management Act is already in force in the backdrop of Covid, which prevents congregation, and the government may think of enforcing the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) and other IPC rules if necessary.
He added the miscreants indulge in damaging public properties like buses will severely be punished.
He said the leaves accepting weekly offs and emergency requests have been and the norm of ‘no work, no pay’ will be strictly followed.
“We are taking all possible alternative measures to ensure smooth public transportation in the absence of RTC buses. Private bus operators and maxi cabs owners will be given routes and allowed to ply vehicles with fixed charges. We have also requested the railways department for special trains during holidays to destinations like Kalaburgi, Belagavi and Mysuru,” said Ravi Kumar.