Transport workers are all set to strike on Wednesday (April 07) demanding the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission report. But the government has said that the demands of the employees cannot be met. It is said that if the employees go on strike despite this, the government would initiate actions under the provisions of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).
The government has said it would increase the salaries of transport workers by 8% instead of implementing the Sixth Pay Commission. Rejecting the proposal, the employees have stated that: “We do not want a pay rise. The Sixth Pay Commission must be implemented and we will go on strike on Wednesday whatever be it. ”
In the backdrop of the transport employees’ strike, a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister was convened today in which Karnataka Chief Secretary Ravi Kumar, ACS – Transport Department Anjum Parvez, KSRTC MD Shivayogi Kalasad, BMTC MD Shikha and Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Kamal Panth and others participated.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Chief Secretary Ravikumar warned that strict action would be initiated against the employees if they went on strike.
It is being said that the Chief Minister has directed to initiate tough actions in the issue of transport workers who are protesting even when the government has assured them of pay-hikes.
Even after this, Ravi Kumar, Chief Secretary of the government has told that it is not possible to negotiate with transport workers. We are considering the enforcement of ESMA. The Chief Minister has instructed us to deal strictly with the issue. He has warned that transport workers participating in protests will be prosecuted according to the law.
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“We know the demands of transport workers. The Department of Transportation is in distress because of Corona. Yet, we have been acted responsibly by paying full salary to the staff without cutting salaries. Deputy CM Lakshmana Sawadi has said that the demand for transport workers will be met after May 2. An increase in salary according to the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission is not possible. However, the government is ready to increase salaries by 8%. We will issue the order if the Election Commission approves it, ”said the Chief Secretary.
If ESMA is enforced, the provider of essential services to the public can be prosecuted when they are intentionally off duty. This law allows legally permits the suspension of transport workers from service if they are involved in a strike once it is enforced.
Farmer leader Kodihalli Chandrasekhar has staunchly responded to this stating that, “The government is not a dictator. Let them enforce ESMA if be it. We are ready for it. ”