The Indian state of Karnataka is suffering severely from the indefinite strike of state sun road transport corporations that include BMTC, KSRTC, NWKRTC and NEKRTC. The government has already suffered mega loss of INR 17 crores excluding loss of damaged buses. The total 1.25 lakh work force is on strike demanding a hike in salaries up to 35 percent. Chief Minister of Karnataka Mr. Siddaramaiah has invited the leaders from workers union for talks.
The government is also exercising to bring in the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) in to action if workers refuse to show up. The ESMA allows government to use a non-bailable warrant against the workers under which they would land up in jail or fined for INR 5,000, or both if they fail to show up at work. The chief minister is continuously in talks with Transport Minister Mr. Ramalinga Reddy to end the strike.
Workers are demanding a 35 percent hike in the salaries while the government is offering them 10 percent. However, the sources are reporting that talks are on with 12.5 percent hike, although the government has denied that news. Commenting on the situation, Mr. Reddy said, “We have gone up from 8 to 10 per cent. We cannot afford a bigger hike. Already, about 45-50 per cent of the revenue in these corporations is going towards salaries. A 12.5 per cent hike would mean an additional burden on the state exchequer.”