After AP and Telangana, Karnataka state transport staff to go on hunger strike

deccan chronicle  | M K Ashoka

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KSRTC, BMTC staff demand to be treated as government employees just as in Andhra Pradesh

KSTC staff are not given some of the facilities given to government employees.

Bengaluru: Employees of all divisions of state-run road transport corporations in Karnataka, including the Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), are likely to participate in a one-day hunger strike on February 20.

Their demand is to be treated as government employees. The employees have decided to gather at the Freedom Park premises along with family members to register their agitation. A campaign is also being run on social media.

According to sources, services of KSRTC and BMTC are going to be hit during the strike.

Though the road transport corporations are run by the government, about 1.36 lakh drivers, conductors and other staff do not have benefits on par with government employees.  

“We are only getting facilities as per the Labour Act. There are no retirement benefits, medical benefits, leave facilities like other government employees. In case of death of an employee, his or her job is not offered to the kith and kin of the family,” explained Yogesh Gowda, a BMTC bus driver.

He maintained that employees are joining voluntarily in the hunger strike.  “The Andhra Pradesh government has declared the Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) employees as government employees. There is no other way left for us but to take up a hunger strike,” KSRTC Employees Fundamental Rights Thinking Committee president V M Shivareddy explained.