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Private buses stay off road in Kerala, commuters struggle

Thiruvananthapuram: An indefinite strike launched by private bus workers since midnight demanding wage hike has hit the mobility of people across Kerala.

Reports from various districts said the impact of the strike was severe in northern and central districts, where people depend heavily on private buses for their movement.

Representational image. Reuters

All bus workers unions affiliated to major central trade unions including CITU, INTUC and BMS, are participating in the strike demanding an immediate payment of 50 per cent interim relief.

The state-run KSRTC failed to run additional services in strike-hit routes as most of its spare buses have been diverted to Sabarimala, where the annual pilgrimage is in its final phase with devotees pouring in large numbers at the hill shrine.

Union leaders said the workers were "compelled" to launch the strike, causing difficulty to the people, as bus owners had refused to honour a commitment on pay increase made during a tripartite negotiation three months back.

PTI