Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Don't bank on the autos today

Don't bank on the autos today

The drivers are likely to join the nationwide strike. The autorickshaws will be back on the roads by the time dusk sets in

Shwetha S

If you depend on autorickshaws to commute to work, be prepared for a little trouble today. Over 80,000 autorickshaws in the city are expected to stay off the roads between 6 am and 6 pm, as they join the all-India strike protesting the rising prices of commodities, and the failure of the Centre as well as the state government in acceding to demands for protection from inflation.
President of the autorickshaw drivers' union, Meenakshi Sundaram, said, "We will be supporting the strike call across the country. We are demanding ration cards and housing allowances for autorickshaw drivers. We also want a welfare board for those plying autorickshaws."
Owners and drivers of autorickshaws affiliated to different unions are expected to support the strike. Among the unions that have already declared their support for the strike call are the Autorickshaw Drivers' Union (ARDU, affiliated to CITU), the Adarsha Auto and Taxi Drivers' Union, and the Bangalore Autorickshaw Union.
President of the Adarsha Auto and Taxi Drivers' Union, N Manjunath, said, "All autorickshaws will be off the roads from 6 am to 6 pm in support of the strike call. The drivers will be joining the strike as the Karnataka government has not granted various demands that were raised earlier. Drivers will take out a procession that will go from Mysore Bank Circle to Town Hall, starting at 10.30 am."
Manjunath said that the rising prices have impacted autorickshaw drivers, just as it has affected a whole host of others. "All autos are expected to be off the roads. However, there are also rumours that some unions will not be joining the strike. The auto unit of the Kannada Rakshana Vedike, the Jaya Karnataka Auto Drivers' Union and the City Auto Drivers' Union may not participate," Manjunath said


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