Why transport stir could fizzle out soon

Due to internal disagreements, two factions of the four corporations have backed out from the strike

The 13-day-long strike called by the transport workers is likely to flicker out without any effect. At least two factions of the four state-run transport corporations – which have the record of holding successful protests in the past — have backed out from the ongoing strike, clearly unhappy with the demand for the revision of salaries as per the 6th Pay Commission. Sensing differences among the employee unions, the State Government did not bother to make peace with the protestors.

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) which has been operating anywhere between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of its fleet amidst the stir, may start full-fledged operations in a day or two.

“The BMTC bus operations have been improving from the past few days. Many of the employees are turning up for duty. Some employees involved in the strike are spreading fake messages with regard to revoking the suspension and dismissal orders in the future, thus preventing employees from performing their duties.

We want to clarify that there is no such provision or thinking at the government level,” BMTC Managing Director C Shikha said.

This is the first time the State Government – known for holding talks with the protestors — has used tough measures to curtail the strike. So far, the BMTC has suspended more than 2,200 employees. Of them, 240 have been dismissed for not responding to the notices issued by the corporation.

At Majestic, commuters and passengers wait to avail of some means of transport

Sources said that the workers who are part of the All-Karnataka State Road Transport Workers Union and KSRTC Staff and Workers Federation have started reporting back to work as these unions have stopped supporting the strike.
HV Ananth Subbarao, a member of the federation, said that the union which called for the strike has been making unreasonable demands without leaving any scope for negotiation. “We have asked our members to join work.

One of our workers was also killed by pelting stones when he was on duty. This is not the way to strike. Some union leaders have misguided the employees by promising them salaries on par with the 6th Pay commission Recommendations.

This is an unreasonable demand,” he said.

He said that the employees would have been happy if the government had implemented the orders of the industries tribunal on providing a 20 per cent wage hike instead of the State Government challenging the order in the High Court. Other than the 20 per cent hike, the government, he said, should enforce one more hike which was due in January 2020.
Some union leaders have misguided the employees by promising salaries on par with the 6th Pay Commission’s recommendations.

This is unreasonable – -HV Ananth Subbarao, KSRTC workers’ federation’s member

In a statement released by Chandrashekar, one of the protestors leading the ongoing strike, he blamed the two unions for the “failure” of the strike. “The state government has not calling us for talks as it knows that some unions are not in favour the strike. If now, our demands would have been met,” he said.

Ananth Subbarao said the ongoing protest was anti-organisation. “Our demands were negotiable.

They wanted the moon,” he said.

He also said that the protestors should apologise to the people of Karnataka.