Kochi: In a major relief to ousted empanelled drivers, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has decided to take back the drivers on daily wage basis "as per need" starting from Tuesday.
The decision was taken in a high-level meet held at Thiruvananthapuram, attended by Transport Minister A. K. Saseendran and transport secretary K.R. Jyothilal, to find a solution after the mass termination of drivers in accordance with a court order led to cancellation of nearly 500 services for the second consecutive day on Monday.
"The meet decided to appoint drivers on daily wage basis in accordance with need of each depot. Priority will be given to those drivers from the empanelled staff list who have five or more years of experience. If the demand still persists, those having higher experience will get priority," a senior official said.
The corporation on Saturday night retrenched 2,107 empanelled drivers - 1,479 from Southern, 371 northern and 257 in Central regions, following a High Court order which resulted in acute driver shortage issue. While 596 scheduled were cancelled on Sunday, as many as 439 services could not be operated on Monday, seriously affecting revenue collection.
"The empanelled drivers will be engaged till the corporation inducts permanent staff either through the employment exchange or through the Public Service Commission," the official said.
The High Court on April 8 had directed to dismiss those empanelled drivers who have not completed 180 days.
Though the staff moved the Supreme Court, the apex court upheld the verdict and directed to retrench the drivers by June 30.
Meanwhile, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran demanded that KSRTC should induct all empanelled staff as permanent employees....