Road transport corporation workers, who were elated when the State government agreed to meet most of their demands, are now disgruntled since the management has allegedly started victimising them for participating in the strike.
Around 1.10 lakh workers of the four state transport corporations — the KSRTC, the North Western KRTC, the North Eastern KRTC and the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) — launched an indefinite strike on September 13 in protest against what they termed the anti-labour policies of the management and a unilateral decision on wage revision, under the banner of the Joint Committee of Trade Unions of Road Transport Undertakings.
The strike was called off on September 15 following an agreement reached between the workers unions and the KSRTC management, with a condition that there would no victimisation of workers who participated in the strike.
Speaking to The Hindu, H.V. Ananthasubba Rao, general secretary, KSRTC Staff and Workers’ Federation and spokesperson of the Joint Committee of Trade Unions, alleged that seven workers had been dismissed and 15 others have been suspended, despite “no victimisation” clause in the agreement between workers and the government.
The KSRTC management is acting with vengeance against those workers, who took active role in the strike and has issued charge sheets to nine traffic controllers in Raichur Division and two officials in Hirekerur Division, he alleged.
Workers in Bangalore, Hubli, Ramanagaram, Sirsi, Belgaum and Gulbarga were being targeted, as these divisions played major role in the strike, said L. Nagaraju Joint Secretary of Federation.
Workers threatened to go on strike when authorities refused to allot work to a driver in Suryanagar Depot of BMTC on October 2. However, he was asked to work when Minister for Social Welfare A. Narayanaswamy intervened. “Next day the authorities suspended him”, Mr. Ananthasubba Rao said.
Salary had not been disbursed for September for workers in Tumkur and Hassan divisions. “However, when the union leaders intervened, authorities assured of releasing funds”, he noted.
Giving a classic example of victimisation, Mr. Rao said Mahimanna, a driver with 34 years of accident-free service, was suspended for giving “false SSLC certificate”, when he joined duty long ago. The driver is due for retirement in a year.
“This is the way KSRTC management is treating workers, who gracefully signed agreement believing that their demands will be met and treated with honour in future” Mr. Rao lamented.
KSRTC Managing Director N. Manjunatha Prasad said that the management was committed to keeping the promise made to workers. “No such case was brought to my notice. If such instances are brought to my notice, I’ll take suitable action,” he said.