Karnataka Bus Strike Enters Third Day; Nightmare Continues

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The Karnataka bus strike has entered the third day and nightmare continues as daily commute has been disrupted and schools and colleges still remain shut. There was a lot of chaos recorded on the second day too.

The BMTC and KSRTC bus drivers called on an indefinite strike demanding hike in wages since Monday. The State government has declined the 35 percent increase in wage demanded by staff and is okay with 10 percent hike.

Employees are also frustrated as the Karnataka state government has not had any talks with KSRTC or BMTC employees. Drivers say they will continue with the strike. On Tuesday, the government tried to operate a few buses with the help of trainee drivers, but that created a huge confusion and lead to mobs attacking vehicles.

The government is taking harsh steps as well and has dismissed 50 striking employees who have previous cases against them. Almost another 100 drivers were issued severe penalty notices.

The government has held itself back from invoking the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), and employees say that even if the government does invoke it, they will continue the strike until their demands are met.

The strike also opened the opportunity for auto rickshaw and taxi drivers to loot commuters, demanding lot more than what usual charges are. Many auto rickshaws and even private buses were penalised for this.

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Story first published: Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 9:39 [IST]
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