Karnataka govt talks tough ahead of RTCs indefinite strike

Bengaluru, Apr 6 (IANS): Taking a tough stand, the Karnataka government on Tuesday ruled out any negotiations with various Road Transport Corporations employees deciding to go on an indefinite strike from Wednesday, demanding that their salaries be increased in accordance with the sixth pay commission recommendations.

The employees of four different state run road transport corporations have been demanding that the state government bring them under the government employees category in order to receive the benefits of pay commissions in the future too. They had gone on a four-day strike in December last year with the same demand.

After a detailed discussion with Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa, Chief Secretary P. Ravikmar told reporters that there is no question of treating RTC employees like other state government employees and implementing the sixth pay commission.

"The government has instead finalised a pay hike of eight per cent to RTC employees which we are ready to implement, but because of the model code of conduct in force due to the bypolls, we have not implemented this," he said.

The Chief Secretary claimed that he has already written to the Election Commission of India seeking its permission to implement the pay hike in light of the proposed indefinite strike from April 7.

"If the ECI permits, the pay hike will be implemented immediately. If not, after the bypolls. But for this we have decided there will be no negotiation and the strike will be dealt with strictly. The Chief Minister is clear on this," he said.

In response to a question, Kumar also dropped enough hints about enforcing the Essential Services Management Act (ESMA). "We are exploring 'every possible action within the legal framework' against the striking employees," he warned.

According to him, all the four transport corporations were reeling under severe losses already due to the reduction in ridership since last year due to the pandemic. "All RTCs combined, the government is incurring a loss of Rs 4 crore every day. The government had provided Rs 2,100 crore in the last one year to these RTCs and ensured all employees were paid salaries on time without any pay cut. We appeal to RTC employees to be considerate and not go on strike," the chief secretary said.

To minimize the strike impact, he stated that all alternate arrangements including appealing to the railways to run special trains and allowing private buses, maxi cabs to run routes, will be made to mitigate the inconvenience to the public.

Deputy Chief Minister Lakshman Savadi, who holds the Transport portfolio, told reporters that the demand for a salary hike as per the recommendations of the sixth pay commission needs a detailed discussion.

"This will put an additional burden of Rs 3,800 crore for next four years on the corporations at a time when the revenue is not sufficient to pay for existing salaries and fuel. Therefore, employees must take considerate view on calling the indefinite strike," he said.

The Karnataka transport department has about 37,019 workers. It runs a fleet of 17,138 buses through four separate transport corporations -- Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC), North West Road Transport Corporation (NWRTC) and Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC).

When the employees of all four corporations had gone on strike in December 2020 for four days, bus services across Karnataka had been severely affected.

Thousands of striking drivers and conductors of KSRTC were joined by those from BMTC, NEKRTC and NWKRTC at Bengaluru's Freedom Park.







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Comment on this article

  • Alphonse Rodrigues, Udupi

    Tue, Apr 06 2021

    ಯೆಡ್ಡಿ ಸಂಗಡ ಶೋಬ ಕರಂದ್ಲಾಜೆ ಹೆಣ್ಣು. ಕ.ರಾ.ರ.ಸಾರಿಗೆ ನೌಕರರೀಗೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಮಣ್ಣು. ಪೆಟ್ರೋಲ್, ಡೀಸಿಲ್ ತೆರಿಗೆ ಮೇಲೆ ಚಾಯವಾಲನ ಕಣ್ಣು. ಮೂರು D.C.M., ಕೂಡಿ ಜನರೀಗೆ ತಿನ್ನಿಸುವರು ಚಳ್ಳೆ ಹಣ್ಣು.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent D'Souza, Belthangady

    Tue, Apr 06 2021

    Can anyone tell me why these Public Transport employees not absorbed as regular government dmployees? What are the bottlenecks? Please enlighten me Daijiworld or any other readers?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Tue, Apr 06 2021

    RTCs are of Government owned, then why employees can not be Government Employees....!!!????? When one time MLA/MP/MLC can get all the benefits of the Government, why can't these employees of the Government...?????

    DisAgree [2] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Langoolacharya., Belman / Washington, DC.

    Tue, Apr 06 2021

    People, This type of attitude made Public Sector Air India bankrupt....now our RTC following suite.... These morons who strike should know....people who buy tickets and travel are their master's ...not these thugs are masters of the travelling public... Government...CLOSE RTC and make these thugs JOBLESSS...they deserve it... Same should be done with Air India as well... ...Tak...Takk...

    DisAgree [7] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Harold Dcunha, Mangalore, India.

    Tue, Apr 06 2021

    I agree with you. But the private sector's are worse. I am regular traveller to Bangalore from Mangalore on KSRTC only more than 8 years and I have stopped travelling in Private buses. Loss Rs. 4 crores are not because of the less money collection but because of the lack of motivation by the employees and also from the Minister, most of them are incapable, who are in charge of this department.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [18] Report Abuse

  • joel, Mangalore

    Tue, Apr 06 2021

    How many days have u worked without pay or half salary?

    DisAgree Agree [5] Report Abuse


    Tue, Apr 06 2021

    Ache din during elections

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

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