High Court chides KSRTC unions, latter vow to call off protests

Kerala High Court
Kerala High Court. File Photo.

Kochi: The Kerala High Court slammed the disruptive activities of the trade unions associated with the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) which have been agitating over timely pay. The HC observed that the unions should have trust in the Court and refrain from such disruptive activities.

Following sharp criticism from the HC, the trade unions have assured that they would refrain from the protest modes disrupting the functioning of the Corporation in any manner. The Court also recorded the submission of the KSRTC Employees Association (CITU) that they would cease all strikes and disruptive activities on the premises of KSRTC offices.

The Kerala Democratic Federation, one of the labour unions, informed the Court that there would not be any disruptive activities at offices or those bothering staff or public.

Dharna angers Court

However, the response on the dharna (picketing) organized by the Employees Association at the KSRTC offices drew flak from the Court.

The Counsel for the union informed that the dharna began before the Court’s order. The Court asked if a dharna was to be organised if its order was violated. Observing that there is a solution if the CMD (Chairman and Managing Director) is functioning in a nonchalant manner, the Court said it was trying to serve as a bridge between the KSRTC employees, the CMD and the Government.

The Court also asked whether the union under the ruling party is protesting to take credit. The response was that others are taking part in the protest too. Stating that there was no need for politics inside the Court, the Court said, if the employees thought they would win because of their protests, the Court would stop considering their case.

Plea on timely salary

The Court was considering a plea seeking a directive to the KSRTC management to ensure payment of salary on time. The plea was filed by KSRTC employees R Baji and others.

During the hearing, Justice Devan Ramachandran stated that the Court knows the pain and misery of the employees. He said, only the Court sees the suffering of those affected, at present. The Court observed that it is interfering in the matter thinking that the KSRTC should not be closed down.

The High Court observed that there is no going back from the aim to ensure the KSRTC employees get their pay by the 5th or at least within the first week of every month.

Granting more time to the government to come up with its decision, the Court clarified that it is granting time considering that the Chief Minister is to chair a meeting to resolve the issue. The Court said it would issue an order to pay the employees' salaries within 5th at least from the next month.

The Counsel for the unions, meanwhile, demanded that the Government's decision on the same should not be delayed.

The case would be considered again on July 11.

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