Karnataka

Road transport workers' unions to stage dharna on Tuesday

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Members of workers' unions of four road transport corporations namely Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, North-Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation and North-Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation that are affiliated to the AITUC, INTUC, BMS, and Akhila Karnataka Rajya Raste Noukarara Mahamandali, and KSRTC SC/ST Officer and Workers Welfare Union will stage a dharna on March 13 near KSRTC Central Office on Kengal Hanumanthaiah Road in Bangalore.

The KSRTC Staff and Workers' Federation general secretary H.V. Ananthasubba Rao, INTUC leaders A.V. Borashetty and K.R. Vijayakumar, noukarara mahamandali's Gangadharaiah, BMS's Nagabhushana and SC/ST Union's Mallikarjuna Murthy told presspersons that the 1.10 lakh workers in four road transport corporations were deprived of basic labour rights and privileges.

Mr. Ananthasubba Rao said 33,000 trainees were being paid Rs. 3,500 a month for several years now because for the past 16 years the government and the management had refused to sign any reasonable agreement with the worker's federation or hold any negotiations with them.

Mr. Rao alleged that the managements were taking unilateral decisions on wages and other demands of workers.

He urged the government to re-introduce the system of reaching a consensus on wages and other demands of the workers by way of holding bilateral talks.

Mr. Ananthasubba Rao said that in the past 16 years over a 1,000 workers have been arrested on several charges and they have been deprived of their rights.

He said that the managements always resorted to police or courts instead of the Labour Department, which settled the workers' disputes till 1995 after which “the reign of terror was unleashed by the managements”.

Describing the appalling condition in which drivers, conductors, mechanics and other staff members work in the road transport corporations, Mr. Rao said that many of them are punished by way of imposing a cut in their increments or postponing increments, suspending or dismissing workers.

He said such a kind of suppression was unheard of in any government institution in the country.

On an average, every year almost 2,000 workers were dismissed.

In this age of high wages and salaries, Mr. Rao and Mr. Lakshman said that drivers and conductors who work for 12 to 14 hours a day get a meagre wage of Rs. 5,500 a month besides bata charges.

They said that the union leaders and workers were facing 9,400 cases in various courts for conciliation and adjudication.

The managements had collected fine totalling Rs. 2 crore from workers by way of deducting the amount from their wages. Mr. Rao said that there were about 5,500 women workers who were being put to a lot of hardship by officers, especially men who even subject them to sexual harassment.

He said that the federation was in possession of CDs which had recorded the harrowing tales of women workers. He also said that Transport Minister R. Ashok had not held a single meeting with them.

Mr. Lakshman said that a driver had to do 22 trips between J.J. Nagar and City Market despite heavy traffic on Mysore Road. By the time a driver is 40 years old, he gets all diseases, he added.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 7:29:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/road-transport-workers-unions-to-stage-dharna-on-tuesday/article2982340.ece

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