Deputy CM rules out talks with transport corporation workers

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Bengaluru, Apr 19 (PTI): Ruling out talks with the workers of road transport corporations (RTC) whose strike completed the 13th day on Monday, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi appealed to them to resume work.

Stating that it was not right to go on strike as the State is reeling under the COVID-19 pandemic, Savadi, holding the transport portfolio, warned those instigating or creating fear among employees who have returned or willing to return to work.

The employees of the four transport corporations have been keeping off work demanding wages as per the 6th Pay Commission recommendations.

Noting that employees were slowly returning to work, Savadi, in a statement, said over 7,000 RTC buses were operating and some private buses were plying to cater to the public.

He said over 110 buses have been damaged in stone-hurling in the name of strike, causing loss to the RTCs.

'Today too, three KSRTC buses were stoned and two employees, who were coming to duty, were assaulted. This is condemnable. The government will not tolerate such goondas,' he said, adding that those indulging in such acts and causing fear among employees or instigating them would be punished.

Rejecting reports of talks between government and the RTC employees, Savadi said, 'The Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has himself ruled out talks and asked them to get back to work.' He dismissed as false the claims made by some leaders of RTC employees to the media that talks have been held with Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Bommai too issued a statement clarifying that he had only requested Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, honorary president of the Karnataka State Road Transport Employees League, who met him this morning, to withdraw the strike in the interest of the people.

'I had only requested them to withdraw strike and get back to work. No assurance was given regarding the Pay Commission.

I have only said that I would bring their demand to the notice of the Chief Minister and Transport Minister,' he said. PTI KSU NVG NVG