Namma Metro workers strike: BMRCL warns of stringent action

Namma Metro workers strike: BMRCL warns of stringent action

Days after receiving a notice from its employees, who threatened to launch a strike unless their demands are fulfilled, BMRCL on Thursday warned that those resorting to a strike will be subject to "stringent action".

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited Employees Union had written to the managing director of the corporation on Wednesday, giving notice under the Industrial Dispute Act "to go on strike on and from March 22". The letter listed several issues with the union, complaining that the management has ignored the concerns raised by the employees.

In its response, the BMRCL said in a press release that metro services have been declared as essential services, under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).

"All persons in the employment of metro railways are deemed to be public servants within the meaning of Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code as per Section 90 of the Metro Railway O&M Act 2002... So, they are prohibited from taking any action which jeopardises the metro services, putting the commuters in difficulties and causing inconvenience to people," a press release from the corporation said.

The release sought to assure commuters that arrangements were being put in place to operate the services and provide security to passengers in the event of some "uninformed employees" resorting to strike.

ESMA stayed by HC

In July 2017, the state government had invoked ESMA to end the strike called by metro staffers, who were protesting against the assault on one of their colleagues. Though they returned to work, the employees union had approached the high court, questioning the validity of ESMA.

On October 7, 2017 the court had stayed the operation of the notification issued by the state government. It remains to be seen how the government will handle the latest threat.

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