Metro staff defer strike as BMRCL agrees for talks

Metro staff defer strike as BMRCL agrees for talks

Bengaluru Metro union decided to defer its indefinite strike by a month after the BMRCL management submitted before the Karnataka High Court that they are ready to hold bilateral talks with the union to deliberate on their demands

The talks will commence from March 26 for a period of one month and the meetings will be held thrice a week.

Justice B Sreenivasa Gowda was hearing an interlocutory application (IA) filed by Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) seeking directions to vacate the stay granted by the court on invocation of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).

The BMRCL employees union had planned an indefinite strike from March 22 over several demands, including higher wages and recognition of the union.

Day-long meeting

On Monday, a day-long reconciliation meeting between BMRCL and the union mediated by the assistant labour commissioner (Central) had failed to break the deadlock. In the end, the union was firm on going ahead with the strike.

Petitioners' counsel Leelakrishnan submitted that if BMRCL is interested in reconciling the differences, then the petitioners are agreeable to defer the planned strike by one month.

The BMRCL counsel stated that the management is always open for reconciliation of disputes provided the union defers its strike.

The state government counsel stated that over four lakh commuters travel by the Metro everyday and the strike will adversely affect them.

Hence, the government welcomes the union's decision to call off the strike. The BMRCL employees union shared the names of four persons who will represent it in the bilateral talks with representatives of the BMRCL management.

These names include Udaya, Manjunath, Rakesh and Sagar, who are office bearers of the union.

Similarly, BMRCL also submitted before the court the names of M S Balakrishna, Gurudas Bhat and Deepa Kotnis who will represent the management.

The matter was adjourned to be heard in the last week of April.

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