Workers of all the four transport corporations in the state met Transport Minister R Ashok regarding their demands recently.
They claimed that they had placed 42 demands before Ashok and have managed to negotiate and settle on 41 demands. “The ministry has promised to settle 41 demands within a month’s time. However, we still have one major demand that they have to look into. The spirit of discussion has not percolated to the higher-ups. We feel harassment at grass-roots level will not stop,” said H V Anantha Subbarao, general secretary, KSRTC Staff and Workers Federation.
Further, the workers said the committee that was to look into their demands has agreed to bring strict adherence to Motor Transport Workers Act 1961, relax the fines levied on workers, limit normal working hours and overtime to only 54 hours a week with extra payment for overtime, sanction leaves and take action against suspension of workers.
These demands were placed before the department during the two-day protest staged by the workers’ unions of Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC). “The workers are disappointed because even if the department and the committee approves most of our demands - this will not be taken seriously by our officers. Today, if a person at the depot wants to take a short leave, there is a certain price they have to pay to the middleman. This amounts to a lot of money totally. We believe that people at the organisation level do not want to deal with our demands seriously because of their own vested interests,” Subbarao said, adding that a worker is forced to work for about 68-69 hours without any extra pay and it needs to be looked into.