Kerala HC bars KSRTC unions from going on strike

KC Gopakumar Kochi | Updated on January 17, 2019 Published on January 16, 2019

Two day nationwide bandh in protest against the government's policies and reforms.(Representative Image)

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday barred trade unions of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation from going on an indefinite strike from midnight of January 16.

The Bench headed by Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy passed the order on a PIL filed by the Centre for Consumer Education, Pala, seeking to declare the strike illegal.

Conciliatory meeting

The court also asked all the trade unions to participate in the conciliatory meeting called by the Labour Commissioner in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.

When the petition came up for hearing, the court observed that the proposed strike would have severe economic impact on the State and it was undesirable at this time. It will only inconvenience a large number of daily commuters. In fact, the weapon of strike should be used as a last resort, it said.

The State Attorney submitted that the talks held by KSRTC CMD Tomin J Thachankary with trade union leaders had failed. During the talks, the CMD had assured the leaders that their demand for reinstatement of retrenched empanelled conductors would be favourably considered and committees would be constituted for resolving the issues relating to the wage revision and other issues.

The court criticised the CMD for not referring to the conciliation officer (Labour Commissioner) the strike notice given by the trade unions. The court noted that it was obligatory on the part of the CMD to refer it to the conciliation officer for initiating conciliation meeting.

Affidavit sought

He did not do so despite receiving the notice on January 1. In fact, the trade unions should have been given a forum to air their grievances. The court directed the CMD to file an affidavit explaining the steps taken by him after receiving the strike notice.

Thiruvananthapuram Bureau adds: The proposed strike by KSRTC employees has been postponed at the end of conciliatory talks with Transport Minister AK Saseendr an.

Unions leaders said they have been assured of prompt action on their demands. The demands include pay revision and payment of DA arrears.

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Published on January 16, 2019
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