The indefinite strike called by the employees of road transport corporations in Karnataka over wage related issues entered its ninth day on Thursday, continuing to affect bus services across the state.
With a stalemate between the government and employees of four transport corporations in the state, over their demand for wages as per the 6th Pay Commission continuing, majority workers did not turn up for work, resulting in buses remaining off road, affecting commuters.
Aimed at intensifying their protest, the striking employees have decided to stage a candlelight protest on Thursday evening.
They have also planned to approach all the MLAs to urge them to raise their issue at the government-level.
Amid threats of tough action, "no work no pay", few RTC employees have returned to work and are operating buses on some routes in the city and different parts of the state.
Pegging the revenue loss at Rs 152 crore with buses belonging to all the four RTCs not running, Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, who also holds Transport portfolio, last evening said over 3,200 buses were operating so far, as employees were returning to work on the request of the government.
He also appealed to employees not to listen to vested interests who are instigating for the strike and to get back to work.
Savadi in his statement had also said that a total of 60 buses belonging to all the four RTCs were damaged so far by miscreants in the name of protests as he condemned the act.
Some Volvo buses have been damaged, he said, adding that police have started taking action against those involved.
The government has made it clear that it was not possible to implement the sixth pay commission for the RTC employees, and had ruled out any talks with them.
RTCs that have been warning employees against continuing with the strike, have started taking action against trainee and probationary employees by dismissing them for absence from work and not responding to notice.
Private buses, mini buses, maxi cabs and other passenger transport vehicles, whom authorities have roped in to manage the crisis and help commuters, were seen providing services to passengers in different parts of the city and the state.
Metro, autos and cabs were also being largely used for commuting within the city.
Citing inconvenience caused to the public and that the strike was against provisions of the industrial disputes act, the Labour department last week had issued an order banning the strike, and had referred the dispute to the industrial tribunal, Bengaluru for adjudication.