Employees of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation have condemned the plan to re introduce the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).

They said the intention of re-introducing the Act was to extract more work from employees, particularly those of road transport corporations, under threat.


Addressing a divisional-level conference of KSRTC workers here today S. Prasanna Kumar, president of the KSRTC Employees’ Federation, said KSRTC workers had already been working more than stipulated hours.

In spite of this, they were not entitled to any benefits. Besides, he said, drivers would be held responsible if anything went wrong with the vehicle when he was driving and the mechanic would be accountable if the vehicle broke down.

Similarly conductors would be responsible if passengers lost their tickets, he said, and questioned the propriety of punishing the staff for no fault of theirs.

He said the Corporation could punish the staff if they committed errors due to carelessness, not otherwise. The corporation has been collecting high fares from commuters and paying meagre salary to its staff, he said.

He said it was mandatory to provide lodging facility for conductors and drivers, and alleged the drivers and conductors were made to sleep in the buses. The KSRTC was operating 7,864 buses every day and had never cared to appoint personnel though the buses were operating with limited staff, he alleged.


He said that although the corporation was aware of being short-staffedit forced the staff to do double and treble duty daily.

Mr. Kumar said a meeting would be organised in Bangalore on September 26 to chalk out steps to pressurise the government to drop the reintroduction of the Act and to provide facilities to KSRTC staff.

Trade union leaders such as M.C. Narasimhan, Suryanarayana and Srikanta Murthy would take part in the meeting.

  • ‘Intention behind reintroducing the Act was to extract more work from employees under threat’

  • KSRTC workers were working more than stipulated hours but were not entitled to benefits: Kumar