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Blog Entry# 3494616
Posted: Jun 05 2018 (21:39)

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Jun 05 2018 (21:39)   Relief for commuters as Bengaluru Metro union defers strike

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Entry# 3494616   News Entry# 339799         Tags   Past Edits
BENGALURU: The proposed indefinite strike by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) Employees from Monday night was deferred as the Karnataka High Court on Monday suggested the state government to take note of the issue and hold negotiations with the BMRCL and itsemployees union through tripartite talks.
Justice A S Bopanna directed the Chief Secretary to hold tripartite talks inviting representatives of BMRCL and Employees Union, as bilateral talks between the BMRCL management and the union members failed to reach a conclusion.
As the matter involves public interest, government has to step
in to do something, the judge observed before referring the matter to the state government for settlement.
Now, the ball is in the state government’s court. The state government has to provide a platform for conciliation between BMRCL and the employees’ union, as the parties to the bilateral talks expressed discontent.
According to the order, the Chief Secretary has to invite the representatives of BMRCL and its employees union before June 8 to take stock of the demands of the employees and BMRCL’s stand and negotiate with them prior to June 18.
“Till then, the BMRCL Employees Union should not precipitate the issue, and even the BMRCL should not take any coercive action against the employees. Instead, it should allow the representatives of the union to attend the meeting with Chief Secretary,” the court added.
The BMRCL Employees Union moved the court seeking to vacate the stay on Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) invoked against them by the state government. The matter will be heard further on June 19.
Newton’s third law
Earlier, the counsel of the BMRCL Employees’ Union (BMRCLEU) argued that BMRCL had adopted a step-motherly attitude towards its employees and put a condition that it would not hold bilateral talks unless they withdraw the strike call. The management had not agreed to both the financial and non-financial demands. It had proposed to initiate disciplinary action against the agitating employees.Then, the judge, in a lighter vein, cited Newton’s Third Law: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Adding to this, senior counsel of the BMRCL submitted that the proposed action was against the proposed strike as it would affect service utilised by four lakh people daily. The court then orally observed that ultimately employees should be happy and they should not feel that they are restless, so that services will not be affected. Therefore, the state government has to assess the demands, the financial implications, etc., the court said.
The court also gave a green signal to BMRCL Managing Director Mahendra Jain, who is also the Additional Chief Secretary to Urban Development Department, to participate in the tripartite talks. This was after Additional Advocate
General A S Ponnanna made the submission to that effect. Earlier, the Union opposed for his participation in bilateral talks and hence he had not participated in the talks.Responding to the directive given by the court, BMRCL Managing Director Mahendra Jain said, “I am happy that better sense has prevailed. Repeated strike calls create a lot of apprehension and uncertainty amongst people as well as it is a drain on our resources. We hope that this will not recur.”
The MD added that BMRCL would have ensured uninterrupted Metro services for the public even if the strike had materialised as we were fully prepared for it. Bangalore Metro Rail Employees Union members were not available for comment despite many calls.

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