People had to rely on KSRTC buses, autos

Thousands of commuters in Ernakulam district had a harrowing time on Monday, following the State-level indefinite strike called by different workers’ unions demanding a 50 per cent wage hike.

People had to rely on KSRTC buses and autorickshaws to reach their destinations. The situation will get worse on Tuesday as a section of KSRTC employees will strike work from dawn to dusk.

“This is to express solidarity with the workers who are protesting against the attempt to introduce contributory pension,” said Venu T. P., an office-bearer of the KSRTC Employees’ Association, affiliated to the CITU.

In the meantime, Labour Minister Shibu Baby John will hold discussions with representatives of the striking private bus workers at the Ernakulam Guest House on Tuesday morning, to bring about an amicable settlement.

Sunday’s talks failed in the face of stiff resistance from private bus owners who said they would only consider the basic pay for revision and not take into account dearness allowance.

The strike is being spearheaded by the Motor Thozhilali Samyukta Samara Samiti, a combine of workers across political affiliations. They are demanding better wages since most bus crew work for over 12 hours every day.

The worst hit by the indefinite strike are students and workers who do not have private vehicles.

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