It is going to be a tough day for public transport users in Karnataka as the employees of all divisions of the state-run transport corporation will be going on a one-day hunger strike on the 20th of this month. This includes the Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KRTC), the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) and the North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC). The total employee strength of the above participating corporations comes to around 1.25 lakhs.
Employees working in state-run transport services have been protesting all over the country. Last year, the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) employees went on an indefinite strike for 55 days, demanding a merger of TSRTC with the state government so as to enjoy better benefits, including a salary hike.
The primary demand of the KRTC and BMTC employees is that they be treated as government employees and be given benefits as any other government employee. The employees have decided to gather at Freedom Park, for the strike, along with their family members in solidarity.
Problems have emerged because although the transport corporations are run by the state governments, a significant portion of the staff does not enjoy benefits, such as medical, retirement and leave facilities on par with other government employees.