Lightning stir hits KSRTC services

Thiruvananthapuram: The five-hour lightning strike by the KSRTC employees in various depots in the state on Tuesday hit the passengers hard, especially students and office-goers.

The strike was in protest against the four per cent commission offered to Kudumbashree for operating reservation counters, which the employees said, would result in losses to the KSRTC.

The employees in Kozhikode, Kannur, Kottayam, Wayanad and Thiruvananthapuram districts blocked the buses. Nearly 30 per cent of the long-distance services were affected by the strike.

The strike was withdrawn by afternoon after labour minister T. P. Ramakrishnan and transport minister A.K. Saseendran agreed to freeze the decision for the time being.

At present, the ministerial staff are managing the counters after the management removed the conductors from the job due to the staff shortage for operating the fleet.

The KSRTC employees, affiliated to the INTUC, CITU, AITUC and drivers' union, had been protesting for some time over the outsourcing of the reservation counters.

Though the BMS had sided with the protesting employees, they did not take part in the strike.

As per an agreement, the reservation counters of 19 bus stations in the state, namely Thiruva-nanthapuram, Kottarakara, Kottayam, Munnar, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Vytilla, Thrissur, Guruvayur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Perinthalmanna, Nilambur, Ponnani, Kozhikode, Kannur, Kalpetta, Sulthan Bathery and Kasargod, three in Bengalaru and one each in Coimbatore and Mysuru were to be manned by Kudumbasree personal from Tuesday. 

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed by Kudumbashree executive director S. Harikishore and KSRTC executive director of administration K.M. Sreekumar here last week.

The Kudumbashree would get 4.5 per cent as commission, two per cent  from the cancellation fee, `2 from modified tickets, 4.5 per cent from luggage booking and coupon distribution. 

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