Bengaluru: The five-day strike by mid-day meal workers, led by various organizations, at Freedom Park, demanding better pay and benefits, was called off late on Friday. The strike was called off after a meeting convened by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Tanveer Sait and education department officials.
CITU state president S. Varalakshmi, who led the protest and attending the meeting with the Chief Minister, said the CM has promised to announce the benefits in detail at the forthcoming state budget, with regard to the issue of raising monthly wages to Rs 5,000.
According to sources from Shakti Bhavan, where the meeting took place, earlier the Chief Minister had initially decided to increase the monthly wage of the workers to Rs 2,600, providing a hike of Rs 400 from the current salary scheme (Rs2200).
“The meeting continued to the third round late night as the representatives were adamant on raising the wages to Rs 5,000. The CM also requested the leaders to withdraw the strike promising that the wage hike will be officially announced in the budget,” said an education department official.
Varalakshmi, along with representatives of various organisations including Ramachandrappa, Yamuna Gangwakar and Gopal were invited for the compromise meeting, after their initial meeting with Principal Secretary Shalini Rajneesh failed to reach an agreement earlier during the day.
Politicians, actors lend support
Earlier many from the field of politics and cinema extended support to the workers, including former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, JD (S) MLAs Kona Reddy and Sharavana, actors Prakash Rai and Chetan.
Tanveer Sait meets protestors
After the meeting at Shakti Bhavan, Mr Sait along with Ms Rajneesh met the protestors, who were braving the night rains at the venue.
The officials also announced that special BMTC buses have been arranged to drop protestors at railway stations and major bus depots. “We have made arrangements for their stay at Freedom Park as well,” Ms Rajneesh said.