India : Bus strike enters 3rd day as govt, unions refuse to blink
Four drivers and one
drivercum-conductor were sacked, reports said. But officials were unable to confirm this. The government tried to convince the unions of the financial burden of a wage hike higher than 10%. While a few buses plied in Bengaluru and other cities, there were concerns about the bus crew safety following an assault on a BMTC driver.
The four corporations said 80 buses plied, with the Benga 80 buses plied, with the Bengaluru-Mysuru route seeing a few trips. Sources said about 10,00012,000 trainees would lose their jobs if they do not report for duty. "The strike is unauthorised. The employees will face a pay cut,'' a source said. The managements of the four corporation claim that several more employees are ready to come back but are scared. "We hope more buses will ply from Wednesday. We'll wait and watch before taking serious measures," said KSRTC MD Rajendra Kumar Kataria.
CM Siddaramaiah said the government cannot afford more than 10% hike. Earlier, the cabinet re solved to give transport minister Ramalinga Reddy complete charge of convincing the unions to accept the offer of the 10% hike and return to duty. Two rounds of meetings were held with chief minister Siddaramaiah and the cabinet, where he briefed the government about the situation.
Siddaramaiah asked Reddy to convince the unions that the government cannot afford more than 10% hike. The CM told media persons that an earlier cabinet meeting had, in fact, recommended only 8% wage revision.
The government was looking at invoking the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) as the last resort. Union leader HV Ananth Subbarao said the government has made no effort to resolve the crisis by negotiating with the federation and there is no decision internally either to give up the strike.
Public transport operations were partially restored on Tuesday -45 KSRTC, four NEKRTC and 25 NWKRTC buses were operated across the state. All buses were operated by regular drivers, while a woman driver-cumconductor worked in Davanagere division.
One Airavat multi-Axle bus plying between Mumbai and Bengaluru was damaged in stone-throwing at Ranebennur around 5.30am. Two buses were damaged in stone-throwing on the Bengaluru-Mysuru Road in the evening.