Bus strike off in Karnataka after wage hike
Bengaluru, July 28: The strike by 1.23 lakh employees of the four state-run road transport corporations in Karnataka was called off, after three days, on Wednesday evening after the state government agreed to increase their wages by 12.5 per cent instead of 10 per cent offered earlier.
"We have called off the indefinite strike after the government agreed to increase our wages by 12.5 per cent and consider other demands," Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation's workers' union general secretary H.V. Anantha Subbarao told reporters here.
Bus services resumed from 6 p.m. in Bengaluru and other cities and towns across the state after the union leaders of KSRTC, NWRTC, NERTC and BMTC advised members to report for duty, providing relief to thousands of commuters who faced harrowing time since Monday when strike paralysed their movement.
"Intra-state and inter-state services have also been resumed to ferry passengers across cities and towns in the state and neighbouring states," an official told IANS.
As the agitated public expressed outrage over the standoff between the state government and the employees through various fora, including social media, news channels and print media, a climb down by both sides led the unions call off the strike though their demand for 30-35 per cent hike was rejected as untenable.
The corporations are reported to have incurred Rs 51 crore loss due to the three-day strike and damage to about 120 buses in stone-throwing incidents across the state.
The wage hike will result in an additional burden of Rs.2,800 crore over the next four years to the exchequer.