Today the people of the state of Kerala had to endure another one of those miserable strikes. The private bus worker’s unions had called a strike a couple of days ago, to be held on the 10th of December. Why? Well in lieu of the petrol & diesel prices going up in recent weeks the private bus owners group held a strike as they wanted to raise the prices of the bus tickets, especially the minimum charge from Rs.5 to Rs.6. Initially the state government did not agree so the strike took place. Predictably after a day the government agreed to increasing the bus tickets rates and the strike ended after 24 hours. In effect I now pay Rs.9 instead of the Rs.7 I was paying to travel from home to the office.
However we had another strike today related to the same incident. The bus workers union (drivers, conductors and door checkers – why the fuck do we need so many people operating a single bus?) were not happy as even though the bus fare was increased, their salaries weren’t. They demanded a good pay hike, which is standard across all the unions and bus owners, as the rates of commodities have been increased. It wasn’t done and so they held a strike today. So no private buses! Great, big fucking great! The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation runs it’s own buses but they are few and far between and worse thing is that there are so few that run from my place to my job in Kakkanad. So I waited for 45 minutes this morning in the hot sun waiting for a bus and on finding the only one completely filled with people like sardines in a can, I took an auto just to reach to the office on time. I was 20 minutes late and poorer by Rs 160.
I left the office early to try and get home quickly but wasn’t able to get into a bus. The couple of ones that were going in my direction were packed like crazy. I waited and I waited and then got an auto to Palaraviattom -> Rs.60. I waited some more, then had a cup of coffee and waited some more and finally at 7pm gave up and took another auto and came home. Rs.100 poorer! Tired, needing a shower and hating this stupid state and it’s people and it’s unions and it’s striking mentality.