Namma Metro staff’ strike delay by a month

BENGALURU: In a big relief to lakhs of Bengalureans dependent on Namma services, employees of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) have agreed to defer their proposed indefinite strike by a month. It was slated to begin on March 22.
The announcement was made in the Karnataka after both the workers and management agreed to discuss the former’s demands.

Four office-bearers of the Bangalore Metro Rail Employees Union (BMREU) and three representatives of the BMRCL management will commence bilateral talks from March 26. The talks will be held thrice a week to thrash out pending issues, including the contentious recognition of the union by the management.

Recording the same, Justice B Sreenivase Gowda adjourned the hearing on the petition filed by BMREU. While the union has named its general secretary , vice-president S Manjunath, joint secretary and executive committee member S Sagar as its representatives, the management will be represented by M S Balakrishna, retired district judge and current general manager (legal), , consultant, industrial relations and Deepa Potnis, executive director (finance).

The temporary truce was reached when the court sought to know the issues awaiting resolution between the management and employees. The union’s counsel said they had given a notice regarding the strike on March 7 itself under the Industrial Disputes Act. He claimed that under the Act, BMRCL is a central-government body. He further said the authorities had refused to recognize the petitioner-union.

However, the management’s counsel argued that BMRCL is a state-government agency as per the memorandum of understanding signed in 2010. He further claimed that conciliation proceedings are going on before the designated officer and the management is ready to talk to workers on issues, including recognition for the union.

While the union had challenged the July 7, 2017 notification issued by the state government under the Karnataka Essential Services Maintenance (ESMA) Act, the BMRCL management had filed an interlocutory application (IA) seeking vacating of the interim order passed last October against the notification, contending that the proposed strike would cripple the transport mechanism in Bengaluru, resulting in huge distress to commuters.

Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with . Download The for your device. in English and other languages.