BMRCL employees give a strike call for third time

BMRCL employees give a strike call for third time

Members of BMRCL Workers Association are gathered for informal discussion on their indefinitely strike work from March 22, after meeting with BMRCL Management failed on Wednesday, at Byyappanahalli Metro station in Bengaluru. Photo/ B H Shivakumar

The BMRCL Employees Union gave its third strike call in about four months, threatening to bring Namma Metro to a halt on June 4 to protest against the management's "refusal" to address some of the concerns raised over last four months.

Besides demanding the recognition of their union, employees have also objected to the violations of recruitment rules and demanded modifications in rules regarding service and promotions.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) employees first gave a call for strike in March, to protest against the management over their meagre salaries when compared to metro staffers in other cities. The BMRCL management had approached the Karnataka High Court and got a month's time to resolve the issue.

The management moved the court again last month when the employees revived the strike call. The court in its order, dated April 27 told the two parties to resolve their issues in meetings and advised against the strike.

Further, the court said that any decision to go on a strike should be "with prior intimation to the court".

In a press release, the union said that the management held talks with its representatives but "rejected all the non-financial issues and refused to resolve the financial issues". "The... union has decided to revive the strike call by issuing a notice of the strike and notifying the High Court of Karnataka of this fact," it said.

Union vice-president Suryanarayana Murthy said that the management can't cite the absence of a government as a reason for rejecting the demands. "They did not even settle the non-financial concerns. We are resorting to going on the strike after following the court orders. We have filed a caveat in the high court stating that the management should not be allowed to invoke Essential Services Management Act (ESMA) until we are heard," he said.