The 24-hour strike by the various employees’ unions of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) from Friday midnight is near total with the state transport utility failing to operate the 5,000 schedules, including the 200 inter-state services.
The KSRTC buses are off the road since midnight as employees owing allegiance to the CITU-affiliated and Congress-affiliated recognised unions and three other registered unions are taking part in the strike.
No untoward incident had been reported from the State so far in connection with the strike. The striking staff even objected to the functioning of the KSRTC control room and the police had to be called in.
“The services had virtually come to a halt since midnight across the State. The attendance is thin. Only officers and the security personnel turned up at the Transport Bhavan, the headquarters of the KSRTC, here”, sources in the KSRTC said.
The strike has hit the commuters who depend on the KSRTC buses for reaching the offices and other work places. As the Std XII CBSE board examinations commenced on Saturday, the students commuting from far-flung areas were affected and had to depend on other modes of transport to reach the exam venues.
In Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode and other districts, the private stage carriers offered some solace to the commuters as they are not participating in the strike. The 110-odd private buses that operate in the capital limits were crowded from the morning.
Parallel services and autorickshaws from the rural areas have entered the city to make quick money.
The unions are demanding withdrawal of anti-employee provisions in a revival package worked out by the KSRTC to overcome its financial crisis, settlement of pension arrears, and protection of statutory pension, among others.
The KSRTC management has stated that the principle of dies-non (no work, no pay) would apply to all the employees who joined the strike.