Employees of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) are planning to go on strike in response to the government’s decision to pay their salaries in instalments. The employees’ union, KST Employees Sangh (BMS), is seeking support from other organisations to form a united front for the strike. Talks between the union and Transport Minister Antony Raju were unsuccessful in reaching a resolution, and a final decision on the strike will be made after further discussions with other unions.
The BMS and the Transport Democratic Federation (TDF) have expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s decision to hold separate talks with different organisations, which they feel undermines their collective bargaining power. The minister explained that the decision to pay salaries in instalments was due to the current financial crisis, but the employee organisations demanded a single payment for the month of February.
The employees also demanded that the government withdraw its recent reforms, including the single duty scheme, which the management has implemented. However, the minister insisted that the reforms would continue, and called on the unions to cooperate. The talks were attended by several leaders from both organisations, including BMS general secretary GK Ajith, TDF state president D Ajayakumar, and RL Rajeev.
Previously, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) withdrew from the strikes following talks with the minister. However, their stance may prove to be crucial in the upcoming strike. As of now, the KSRTC has not received the government aid of Rs 70 crore needed to pay the remaining salaries for February. The situation remains unresolved, and the fate of the planned strike remains uncertain.
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