Employees owing allegiance to the INTUC-affiliated Transport Democratic Federation (TDF) and the BMS-affiliated Kerala State Transport Employees Sangh (KSTES), two unions of the KSRTC, will go on a 24-hour token stir from February 22 midnight. Their demands include withdrawal of the move to float KSRTC-SWIFT, a new company to operate long-distance buses using contract staff, and immediate revision of salary.
The decision was taken after separate meetings of the two unions here on Saturday. The government had made it clear to the three recognised unions that it was not ready to abandon KSRTC-SWIFT. Both the TDF and KSTES had opposed Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac’s proposal on Friday to form an independent society under it instead of floating KSRTC-SWIFT.
The notice for the token strike will be given to the management on Monday, TDF working president R. Sasidharan said.
The formation of KSRTC SWIFT would turn the KSRTC into a paper organisation. “Be it an independent company or society, the new entity will corner all revenue from the KSRTC fleet,” he said.
The TDF is also demanding an immediate pact with the unions for pay revision, disbursal of the pending dearness allowance, stopping of unnecessary transfers, and new buses for the fleet.
The KSTES is seeking a Vigilance inquiry into corruption charges, including the ‘missing’ of ₹100 crore. KSTES general secretary K.L. Rajesh said the KSRTC should be converted into a department considering the role it plays in public transport. The KSTES is also demanding reinstating of the retrenched staff in the KURTC and immediate posting to those applying under the dying in harness scheme.
The CITU-affiliated Kerala State Road Transport Employees Association (KSRTEA) expressed willingness to support the government initiatives if the dismissed empanelled staff are taken back and salary and allowances of the personnel on the rolls are assured.