The Karnataka State Road Transport Employees’ League, which spearheaded the transport strike in April, met Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday and appealed to the government to withdraw all penal action that RTCs have taken against employees who participated in the strike.
A total of 2,110 employees of various RTCs, including those on the verge of retirement, have been dismissed. Another 1,399, including women and physically challenged, have been compulsorily transferred to far away locations – some as far as 500 km. Over 400 have been booked in over 200 criminal cases across the State, with ‘95% of them fake’, claimed Mr. Chandrashekhar, one of the leaders of the league, who was dismissed from BMTC five days ago.
Thousands of families have been suffering without pay for four months now, struggling to make ends meet, in already stressed times due to the pandemic, he said. “We have been fighting for our just demands through peaceful means for the past four years. The State government assured us of fulfilling our demands in December 2020, but went back on their promises, pushing us to take up a strike. The strike was taken up after following due procedure giving 21 days prior notice. But it is unfortunate that the RTCs hit back targeting employees,” stated the league in a statement.
Employees have demanded that all cases be withdrawn, and that those dismissed be given back their jobs. They also want to the government to relocate employees who were transferred back to where they were working before the strike.
Some members of the delegation said Mr. Bommai promised them of withdrawing all penal action at the earliest.
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