Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employees began a sit-in in front of the KSRTC Chief Office in the State capital on Monday in protest against the uncertainty over disbursal of staff salary. The strike was called by the employees’ unions after a talk between the KSRTC chairman and managing director and the employees’ unions over the issue of disbursal of salary before June 5 failed to yield any result.
Speaking after inaugurating the fast organised by Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)-affiliated Kerala State Road Transport Employees Association (KSRTEA), Anathalavattom Anandan, State president, CITU, criticised the KSRTC management for shifting the blame for the poor performance of the public utility on the employees. The management should also disclose the recommendations of the Sushil Khanna committee, tasked by the government to prepare a turnaround strategy for the crisis-hit corporation, instead of sitting on the report, he said.
The employees’ unions will accept the practical and viable suggestions in the report. The attitude of holding employees responsible for everything in the KSRTC cannot be agreed, said Mr. Anandan.
Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan inaugurated the dharna called by the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC)-led Transport Democratic Federation (TDF). The employees will continue the fast from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. without disrupting the KSRTC bus services until the salaries are disbursed by the corporation, he said.
Earlier, the talks remained inconclusive after KSRTC CMD Biju Prabhakar informed the unions that the salary could be disbursed only by around June 20 due to the financial liabilities of the corporation. The management took a stance that the salaries would be disbursed once the State government provides the financial assistance to the corporation. Till then, the employees will have to wait. Following this, the union representatives walked out of the meeting announcing their strike plans.