BENGALURU: For the third time within three months, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited Employees Union (BMREU) has given a call to stop Metro train operations. The indefinite strike call from June 4 has been called “due to deliberate and utter failure of the management to resolve grievances,” the Union charges. Promising stringent action against erring employees, the BMRCL management has lashed out at the “so called Union” for holding Bengaluru to ransom by issuing such threats repeatedly.
The Union had first given a call on March 22, then on April 28 and the third call has been given on Friday evening. Speaking to The New Indian Express, BMREU vice-president Suryananaraya Murthy said, “We are being forced to go on this strike and are giving the notice now well in advance. Our general body meeting has taken the decision on May 13,” he said.
“As per Section 22 of the Industries Tribunal Act, we need to give a 14-day notice period and we are doing it now,” he added. The Union plans to file a caveat in this connection in the High Court on May 28 after the vacation bench hearings get over, he added.Following the second strike call, the High Court had directed both the Union and management to resolve all financial and non-financial issues by May 3. Among the main non-financial demands are promotion for employees as well as the need to to frame Standing Orders as per the Industrial Employment Act 1946. BMRCL has its own cadre and recruitment rules as well as Metro Railway Act 2002 and Metro Railway (General) Rules 2013. The main financial demand is to bring the salaries on par with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited.
BMRCL Managing Director Mahendra Jain said, “The so-called Union should not go on strike without obtaining permission and giving prior intimation to the Court.” Metro services will be operated as usual even if their “self-defeating step” materialises, he added. “The management will not hesitate to take stringent action against the errant employees if they persist with such threats. They alone will be responsible for the consequences which may follow,” he said.
Expressing disappointment over the decision, Jain said “They have neither any regard for the directions of the Court, nor any concern for the organisation which has given them a life-long source of livelihood for them..nor have any sense of responsibility for the people of Bengaluru by holding them to ransom every second day by issuing these strike threats.”BMRCL will be submitting its report on discussions pertaining to non-financial demands to the Court shortly, Jain said.