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Union Leader Detained as Karnataka RTC Employees' Strike Enters 4th Day

Bus services remain affected in Bengaluru for 4th day as Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employees go on indefinite strike over their demand for revised salary. (ANI Image)

Bus services remain affected in Bengaluru for 4th day as Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employees go on indefinite strike over their demand for revised salary. (ANI Image)

The district authorities then detained him and directed that he be sent out of the district.

Kodihalli Chandrashekar, who is leading the ongoing Karnataka state owned transport employees’ strike, has been detained in this district headquarters town, sources said. “Police took Chandrashekar into their custody and are taking him to Bengaluru," sources said.

According to sources in the Belagavi administration, Chandrashekar wanted to meet the Deputy Commissioner of the district, which was not granted. Angry over it, the leader decided to stage a demonstration there.

The district authorities then detained him and directed that he be sent out of the district. Meanwhile, fissures seem to have opened among sections of the state owned transport corporation bus employees’ federation as the strike over their salary related issues entered the fourth day on Saturday.

The Karnataka government on Friday banned with immediate effect the indefinite strike by employees of the road transport corporations, which affected bus services across the State. Citing inconvenience caused to the public and that the strike was against provisions of the industrial disputes act, the Labour department issued the ban orders.

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The dispute has been referred to the industrial tribunal, Bengaluru for adjudication, it added. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa appealed to the employees to resume work, even as he made it clear that it was not possible to meet their demand for wages as per the 6th Pay Commission.

With the government reiterating its stand on wages as per the 6th Pay Commission, RTC employees decided to continue with the strike on Saturday as well. Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, honorary president of the Karnataka State Road Transport Employees League, said the strike is on and will continue for the fourth day on Saturday.

On Saturday a few union leaders expressed their displeasure over the way Chandrashekhar handled the issue. The Karnataka Transport Employees Federation has chosen Chandrashekhar as their honorary president to lead their agitation and negotiate with the government for the implementation of the sixth pay commission.

“The strike is continuing, but we are caught in a problem due to the impractical demand. Now we cannot move forward, return backward," the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation union leader K Prakash said. Chandrashekhar should not have put forth just one demand, which will fizzle out because it cannot be fulfilled in view of the present situation, another union leader said requesting anonymity.

Chandrashekhar was not available for his comment. There are four state owned transport corporations and all of them have gone on strike demanding salaries on par with the state government employees.

The stalemate has caused inconvenience to the commuters, many of whom alleged that private transporters overcharged for the trips. The government has sacked trainee and probationary employees of various corporations, including 216 Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation in the past two days for taking part in the agitation.

The government also managed to run 652 buses till 10 am. Yet, it was way too short of the demand.

The Railways too are operating nine special trains on Saturday.

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