Last week, taxi drivers at Bengaluru Airport in Karnataka state went on a strike after a cabbie linked to the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) set himself on fire.
Public transport workers under the umbrella organisation Karnataka State Road Transport Employees League went on strike indefinitely on Wednesday in India’s Karnataka state.
They’re demanding that the government modify the salary system in line with the Sixth Pay Commission.
Convened by the Union Cabinet of India on 5 October 2006, the Sixth Central Pay Commission is designed to remove pay scale ambiguity in government jobs while guaranteeing a steady salary rise at regular intervals.
Talking to Sputnik on condition of anonymity, an official from Karnataka State Road Transport Employees League said that this issue first came up last December and the state government had asked for three months to make the changes.
“The strike is a result of no follow-up on the same from the government’s side. The employees are ready to protest until their demands are met. We are ready to operate our local bus services as soon as the employees are ready,” the official added.
Meanwhile, images of empty buses parked in deserted stations across Karnataka have surfaced on Twitter.
Karnataka: Bus services affected in Bengaluru as Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employees go on an indefinite strike over their demand for revision of salary
KSRTC has issued temporary permits to private buses to operate
(visuals from Majestic bus terminal) pic.twitter.com/C7HNJI1cvK
— ANI (@ANI) April 7, 2021
Kempegowda Bus Stand (Majestic) wears a deserted look with autos dominating the landscape in #Bengaluru due to #TransportWorkersProtest. Thousands of people affected across #Karnataka due to the strike. @DeccanHerald Pic: @janardhanbk @LaxmanSavadi #BusStrike pic.twitter.com/wsqiuWmgRt
— Niranjan Kaggere (@nkaggere) April 7, 2021
Although the state government has made alternate arrangements by roping in private transport operators, locals have also taken to social media to highlight the inconvenience the strike is causing to their daily commute.
Due to bus strike in Karnataka, many employees,travellers are facing problem to travel to Mangalore. So,now its right time to demand to restart #Mangalore Central- #KabakaPuttur Passenger train and #Mangalore Central- #Subrahmanya Road passenger train@nalinkateel @s__matandoor
— Puttur Train Users (@putturrail) April 7, 2021
@BSYBJP @csogok @CPBlr @Tejasvi_Surya Bus strike in karnataka n people suffering. Please allow share auto all over bangalore city. Definitely it will help common man.
— jain prakash (@jainprakash123) April 7, 2021
Due to the transport strike in Karnataka, both BMTC and Flybus services to and from BLR Airport are likely to be impacted. The inconvenience is regretted. Taxis will continue to be operational.#BMTC #KSRTC #transport #bus #bengaluru #airport pic.twitter.com/MjSHJQNJs6
— BLR Airport (@BLRAirport) April 7, 2021
Vijay Bhaskar, a member of the transport workers union, told Indian daily Hindustan Times earlier this week that there’s a salary difference of 19 percent between government employees and protesting transport workers.
P. Ravi Kumar, the chief secretary of Karnataka, said that the state will not be able to meet the demands of the protesting transport employees.
Kumar also said the state has been paying salaries to all transport workers totalling $282 million, despite a nosedive in revenue collections amid the escalating coronavirus situation.
“Without giving room for the government to take strict measures, drop the strike and cooperate with the administration,” Karnataka state chief B. S. Yediyurappa urged the protesting workers.
To make commuting easier for locals, the transport commissioner of Karnataka has issued an order to private cabs and rickshaw drivers asking them to refrain from hiking up their prices.