Bus stir off; but will be on from December 29
By Express News Service - KOCHI
11th December 2012 09:57 AM
Providing a major relief to commuters, the indefinite strike called by the Private Bus Thozhilali Coordination Committee in the district was called off following talks with bus owners on Monday.
However, various private bus employees' union in the district have expressed solidarity with the proposed state-wide strike on December 29. The strike has been called by the private bus employees seeking 50 per cent increase in their daily wages.
According to Charles George, president of the Coordination Committee, employees affiliated to CITU, AITUC, TUCI and BMS will participate in the all-Kerala strike. He added that the stir will continue till their demands are met. “The strike has been called off only in the district. Most of the employees are dissatisfied with the move. However, the strike will restart in the last week of December with more vigour,” Charles George added.
“The exploitation of workers can be brought to a stop only if the wages are increased. Unless the wages are unified, the bus employees will continue to face problems,” he added.
Stir hits life
The bus strike disrupted normal life in the city and the outskirts as no private buses plied through Angamaly, Perumbavoor, Kalady, Tripunithura, Muvattupuzha and Kothamangalam routes on Monday. All the private bus stands wore a deserted look. Passengers depended on autorickshaws despite the high charges. Ashok S, who was on a visit to the city from Bangalore, said the private bus strike had dampened his plans to tour Kochi. “Since my flight is in the evening, I had plans to visit Fort Kochi. But, I have been waiting for a long time in vain,” he said.
Meanwhile, the KSRTC services failed to come to the aid of passengers forcing many to depend on trains and boats.
According to boat passengers, the Water Transport Department failed to provide alternative services during the strike. “Currently, the situation is very bad. One of the seven boats has been hauled to the dock as it was unfit to conduct service. Also, a few of the services have been diverted to unnecessary locations,” said S Padmanabha Malya, president, Paschima Kochi Boat Passengers Association. The private bus employees took out a protest march from the Ernakulam Jetty at 10 a.m. A meeting was also convened at the HIgh Court junction following the march.
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