RTC strike: Union leaves over 2k workers in the lurch

RTC strike: Faction-riddled union leaves over 2k workers in the lurch

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation allowed private buses to operate from its bus terminals during the strike by transport employees. DH File Photo

Nearly 2,000 workers of the road transport corporations (RTCs), who have not received wages after being suspended or dismissed for taking part in the strike in April, are worried as the association that started the strike has been falling apart.

Ever since its inception in December 2020, the Karnataka State Road Transport Employees League has witnessed clashes between different groups of leaders. However, the members came together three months ago and led a two-week-long strike during which thousands of workers were dismissed and suspended while many others were given punishment transfer.

After the issue was taken to the Karnataka High Court, about 2,000 employees have been reinstated by BMTC while other corporations have taken back hundreds of employees. However, more than 1,500 probationers, who were dismissed, and over 1,000 employees under suspension have received no help from the league.

After a few office-bearers, including the treasury and secretary, were expelled, those associated with the two leaders resigned leaving the hapless workers to fend for themselves.

Ravi, a suspended conductor, in his Facebook post pleaded, “I am in dire straits after not getting the salary for three months. I appeal to you to help me get the job back.”

R Chandrashekhar, the president of the League, said he has been getting at least 100 calls everyday from workers who are facing one or other disciplinary action. “I am trying to help them by giving them some aid from the resources in the League. We do not have enough money to help all of them. We are approaching all the political leaders seeking help,” he said.

Anand, one of the expelled leaders, alleged that he was shunted out for protesting the autocratic behaviour of Chandrashekhar. “Some workers are still getting show-cause notice over the strike. There were no efforts to help the workers. When I protested this, I was expelled,” he said.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox