Thiruvananthapuram: The trade unions have ramped up their protest against the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) over recurring salary delays.
On Monday, the employees affiliated with the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) laid siege to the KSRTC head office in Thiruvananthapuram, preventing employees from going about their tasks.
The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) and the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) too have lent support to the protest.
The intensifying protests have stirred the KSRTC management to begin disbursal of salary for the month of May, which has been delayed so far. According to them, the drivers and conductors will be paid first.
Kerala Transport Minister Antony Raju has called for another round of talks on June 27 to find a resolution to the crisis.
However, with coffers running dry, the debt-ridden transporter is once again forced to seek assistance from the State Finance Department.
The CITU has made clear that continued reliance on the government to meet salary expenses will not bode well for KSRTC.
Earlier, the State's Finance Department had approved Rs 30 crore to KSRTC for clearing salary dues. This is less than half of what the KSRTC MD had requested: Rs 65 crore.
But even Rs 65 crore is not enough to pay the employee salaries. According to reports, the Corporation needs at least Rs 80 crore for salary disbursal each month.
With the number of passengers dwindling over the years and fuel prices soaring, KSRTC's monthly revenues are insufficient even to meet running costs.