Road Transport Corporation (RTC) employees of Karnataka on Wednesday ended their strike, 15 days after it began on April 7. On Tuesday, the Karnataka High Court had said that this was a bad time to go on strike amid the current situation.
Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, the honorary president of the Karnataka State Road Transport Employees League and the president of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha who was leading the strike, said that the employees have decided to go back to performing their duties, respecting the High Courtâ€™s order and they have temporarily decided to postpone the strike.
Transport Minister Lakshman Savadi in a statement said, â€śResponding to the request of the government, today (Wednesday) evening 13,000 buses operated to the relief of the commuters. I thank the employees who reported for duty.â€ť
The High Court had clarified that it was not talking about the legitimacy or the correctness of the employeesâ€™ demands. It however stated that any strike amid a crisis like the pandemic would violate Article 21 of the Constitution (No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law) which is a fundamental right of a citizen.
The employees belonging to the four RTCs of Karnataka which are the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC), North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) had been on strike since April 7 demanding that their wages had to be paid as per the recommendations of Sixth Pay Commission which would increase the wage of the employees.
However, the government had absolutely rejected the demand and had insisted that it was not a viable demand as the corporations didnâ€™t have necessary funds and that they were already running under losses since the pandemic started. The government had also said that it had to provide money to the corporation to pay for the wages during the lockdown as operation had stopped and no buses were running.
Watch: Why Karnataka RTC workers were on strike