Workers call off protests after meeting KSRTC MD in Bengaluru
The transport workers’ strike called by the joint action committee of employees’ trade unions on March 21 in Bengaluru, seeking pay revision, has been called off after a meeting with the KSRTC managing director on Saturday night.
HV Anantha Subbarao, president of the federation, said that the strike was called off after getting a promise to fulfil their demands, including a pay hike and allowance. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) managing director Anbu Kumar held a meeting with the transport union leaders late on Saturday night.
“The managing director listened to all our concerns. He has assured me that the pay revision will be applicable from January 1, 2020. He also told us that for the first time, the Government Order had created an opportunity for employees’ unions to participate in arrear discussions,” the joint action committee said in a press release.
“He further said that other issues like payment series, bata, increment, and incentives will be discussed and solved at the corporation level. Hence, we have withdrawn our strike call,” it further said.
Their demands include merging the dearness allowance with the basic pay and hiking the revised basic pay by 25%. They also demanded that the annual increment should be 3% of the revised basic pay.
Other demands include grade promotion every ten years of service, raising all allowances paid to bus drivers, conductors, and technical and administrative staff by five times, unconditional reinstatement of all employees who joined the April 2021 strike and their names removed from the FIRs, among others.
The Karnataka government last Thursday said that employees of transport corporations would get a raise of 15% in their salaries.
State transport minister B Sriramulu and heads of the corporations held discussions on pay revision with representatives of the employee unions.
The joint action committee of RTC (road transport corporations) trade unions had earlier called an indefinite strike from March 21, demanding an increase in wages, along with other demands.
However, a section of the KSRTC employees has announced that they will go on an indefinite strike from March 24. Sarige Nigmagala Noukarara Samana Manaskara Vedike alleged that while the state government assured government employees of implementing the 7th Pay commission and also gave them a 17% hike, and increased the salaries of KPTCL employees by 20%, it has only hiked basic pay by 15%.
Forum president Chandrasekhar said there was confusion regarding arrears and salary increases in the order issued by the government on Friday, and the strike will be held on March 24. “We don’t know what the Joint Action Committee has negotiated with the government. But our demands still stand, and there is no question of withdrawing the strike for any reason,” he said.
The state has four transport corporations – KSRTC, North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation, Kalyana Karnataka Road Transport Corporation and Bengaluru Metropolitan Road Transport Corporation.