BENGALURU: With the management of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation initiating conciliatory proceedings with the Regional Labour Commission a couple of days ago in connection with the proposed strike on March 22, the Commissioner has now asked Union representatives to appear for a hearing on March 16. Legal experts have told The New Indian Express that the strike plan cannot go ahead until the entire proceedings by the Commission are completed.
Bangalore Metro Rail Employees Union Vice President Suryanarayana Murthy told TNIE, "I have been asked by the Commission's office in Yesvanthpur to appear for the hearing on March 16."
Meanwhile, the BMRCL management has issued a more strongly-worded circular to its employees than the previous one, warning them of strict disciplinary action if they persist on wearing black badges and arm bands on duty.
A letter signed by the Assistant Manager (Personnel) states, "It has come to the notice of the management that some of the Operation and Maintenance employees are displaying their uniforms with messages/bands while on duty. This act, on the part of the employee, shall be viewed very seriously and the employees are advised not to wear any unauthorised badges/bands, failing which the management will be left with no option but to initiate disciplinary action." Rule no. 12 of Metro Rail General Rules 2013 forbids it, the letter points out. The issue had generated tension between top management and train operators on Saturday when they were ordered to remove the protest symbols.
It has been learnt through reliable sources that BMRCL Managing Director Mahendra Jain has invited employees to his office to discuss their grievances. “The MD is even willing to have one to one talks to sort out grievances but only if the individual wants to come over as a BMRCL employee and not as a Union representative,” the source said. Jain confirmed the same to The New Indian Express. Another letter issued by the management to employees of official quarters has called upon them to be fully ready to carry out any duties which the management asks it to in order to ensure train operations function smoothly.
Union plans slogan protests
The Union plans to hold slogan protests in front of the Baiyappanahalli and Shantinagar depots to draw public attention to their issues. Murthy said, “We plan to do so after two days. We will do it first at Baiyappanahalli. We have written to the DCP North East seeking permission for the same. After that, we plan to protest in front of the BMRCL head office at Shantinagar, “ he said.