KSRTC unions to strike work today

CITU-affiliated outfits to keep off stir that calls for salary disbursal before fifth of every month

May 05, 2022 09:11 pm | Updated 09:11 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

A section of the employees of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will strike work from Thursday midnight as the government failed to assure them, at a meeting convened by Transport Minister Antony Raju on Thursday, that salaries would be disbursed before the fifth of every month. The employees’ outfits owing allegiance to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) will not take part in the 24-hour strike, while workers from other unions will strike work.

The KSRTC has invoked dies non for employees not reporting for work on Friday. The stir has been called by the INTUC-affiliated Transport Democratic Federation (TDF), Kerala State Transport Employees Sangh, and employees’ outfit owing allegiance to All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC). Though the CITU-affiliated union decided to abstain from the stir, the rift in the union came to open in the evening with a section of members resigning from the union in protest against its decision.

Though KSRTC Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Biju Prabhakar had assured the employees that their salary of the previous month would be disbursed before May 10, the unions have decided to go ahead with strike. The salary of March was credited to the account of employees on April 19 after the Vishu and Easter celebrations.

Govt. help

Last month, the State had provided ₹30 crore while the Corporation had taken an overdraft of ₹45 crore to foot the salary bill. This month too, the KSRTC has sought a grant from the State government to pay the salaries. The Corporation requires around ₹80 crore a month for salary disbursal.

At the meeting, Mr. Raju told the unions that steps to solve the issues of the Corporation would be taken by the government soon. The salary and pension of employees were being disbursed with the help of the State government which had even implemented the pay revision despite the COVID-19 impact on economy. The unusual rise in the fuel charges made matters worse for the Corporation, said Mr. Raju.

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