The indefinite private bus strike by the Motor Thozhilali Samyuktha Samara Samithi was called off on its second day on Tuesday, following a decision to increase the daily wages of private bus employees by Rs 60.
A meeting was convened by Labour Minister Shibu Baby John here in the presence of Transport Minister Aryadan Mohammed, private bus owners and trade union leaders from across the state.
According to Shibu Baby John, the current wages of private bus employees were unsatisfactory, considering the rising prices of essential commodities.
“The needs of the employees are genuine, just like those of the private bus owners. Hence, it is only fair to increase their wages. We have agreed to provide them an interim increase of `60 per employee,” he said.
However, the hike will not be applicable for those whose wages were already raised in the past one year, he added.
“It has been brought to our notice that some private bus owners had already hiked their employees’ wages during the past one year with the consensus of the District Labour Officer. The present decision is only applicable to those private bus employees whose wages were not increased since the last wage revision of 2008,” Shibu Baby John said.
A committee will be constituted under the Labour Minister to study the basic wages of employees in every district.
The committee report will be considered during the next wage revision, which will take place in September this year.
Meanwhile, AITUC members of the Motor Thozhilali Samyuktha Samara Samithi have expressed dissatisfaction over the wage hike stating that the increase was low.
Currently, without the increased pay, the basic wages earned by a private bus driver is `6,070 per month, along with dearness allowance of Rs 3,667.5 and other allowances.
A bus conductor receives Rs 6,000, while the basic pay of a ‘kili’ is Rs 5,970.