BENGALURU: The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has decided to file a petition in the High Court to get the stay on invocation of the Essential Services Maintenance Act vacated.
Virtually ruling out any kind of recognition for the Bangalore Metro Rail Employees Union backed by the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), the management said that it would hold talks only with Metro employees.
Speaking to TNIE, BMRCL Managing Director Mahendra Jain said, “I have asked our legal team to take steps to get the stay vacated at the earliest. They are on the job and will do it either today or tomorrow.” On November 7, 2017, the Court had issued an interim stay on the move made by BMRCL to extend provisions of the ESMA 2013 Act to employees who went on strike on July 7.
Asserting that BMRCL had a complete exigency plan in place and would run trains even if the employees choose to go on strike, Jain said, “We are fully geared and train services will not be disrupted. We are ready to hold talks and redress grievances but only with our own employees.” He added, “Full protection would be provided to the staff who are keen on working on the day and public who want to travel on Metro in the event of any strike.”
Both BMREU president Sanjiva Reddy and vice president Suryanaryanaya Murthy are not BMRCL employees. Reddy is the All-India president of INTUC while Murthy is the State INTUC Secretary. The Union’s legal adviser Leela Krishnan is ex-State general secretary of the union. “Under the Trade Union Act, three outsiders are permitted inside any trade union. Only Reddy and I are part of the Union with our legal advisor not even a member,” says Murthy, who is spearheading the proposed indefinite strike from March 22.
U A Vasanth Rao, Chief Public Relations Officer, BMRCL said, “Metro is a part of the services sector. If it is disrupted, it will affect the daily livelihood of so many people.” Asked if the Union would be invited for talks in the near future to diffuse the crisis, Rao reiterated, “Why should we talk with people who are not even our own employees?