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Govt. accused of victimising KSRTC trade union leaders

Special Correspondent

`Excessive fines, transfers, dismissals and an increase in workload have become common'

MYSORE: A conference of the city and district units of the KSRTC Staff and Workers' Union here on Sunday took note of the Government's "failure" to protect the interest of the working class and expressed its apprehensions over the treatment being meted out to the KSRTC staff.

Nagaraj, secretary of the union, addressed the workers and alleged that neither the State Government nor the managements care for trade unions and workers in the four road transport corporations.

Deprived

The 73,000 workers employed in the organisation are deprived of a decent living, he said and added that excessive fines, transfers, dismissals and increase in workload have become common.

Though the Government has promised to talk to workers directly, nothing much has happened, Mr. Nagaraj said.

"The coalition Government in the State has completed a year in office. Given the national political situation and the Common Minimum Programme of the Centre, it was expected that the State Government will do justice to the working class.

But all it has given so far is assurances while failing to protect the interests of the working class," he added.

Victimised

The secretary of the union alleged that trade union members and leaders are being victimised by the Government despite the assurance given by the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, to senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders in the country.

Beedi workers

He criticised the State Government for not implementing the Beedi Workers' Minimum Wages Notification, which came into force on October 24, 1996.

As a result of this beedi workers are getting less than the stipulated rate of Rs. 71.17 for 1,000 beedis rolled, he said.

"Though we have urged the Government to implement the notification, the latter has not done so as a result of which more than 10 lakh beedi workers have been deprived of their legitimate rights," Mr. Nagaraj said. H.R.Seshadri, general secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress district unit, cautioned the workers against the Government's move to privatise KSRTC and said it should be opposed vociferously at the initial stage so as to prevent the move from gaining momentum. It was announced that the KSRTC Staff and Workers' Federation and unions affiliated to the AITUC will organise a rally in Bangalore on July 30.

The rally is being organised to extend support to the CPI MPs who will sit on a dharna in front of the Chief Minister's house from 11 a.m. on July 30 to urge him to look into issues that are of bearing to the KSRTC and RTC workers.

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