The services of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will be affected on Tuesday by the 24-hour strike from February 22 midnight by the Indian National Trade Union Congress-affiliated Transport Democratic Federation (TDF) and the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh-affiliated Kerala State Transport Employees Sangh (KSTES), two recognised unions of the corporation.
The TDF and KSTES, in separate statements issued on Monday after a meeting convened by KSRTC Chairman and Managing Director Biju Prabhakar, said the management had not taken a favourable decision on their demands and hence they were going ahead with the strike.
The unions are demanding withdrawal of the move to float KSRTC-SWIFT, an independent company to operate long-distance buses using contract staff, immediate revision of salary, disbursal of nine instalments of Dearness Allowance, government takeover of pension liability, revival of the dying-in-harness scheme, and an end to punitive transfers.
TDF working president R. Sasidharan said the strike notice was given on February 8, but the government was not ready for talks. “The KSRTC-SWIFT will destroy the KSRTC. The employees are drawing salaries of 2012 and the management is not willing to initiate even preliminary talks on wage revision,” Mr. Sasidharan said.
KSTES general secretary K.L. Rajesh said the meeting convened by the CMD as directed by Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran failed to arrive at any decision on the demands.
Meanwhile, the CITU-affiliated Kerala State Road Transport Employees Association (KSRTEA), the third recognised union in KSRTC, said the strike was politically motivated. Its general secretary C.K. Harikrishnan said the CMD had given an assurance that orders for three instalments of DA would be issued on March 1. Talks on salary revision would be completed by March 31.