Govt to hire private operators as talks fail

Striking TSRTC employees resort to ‘Gandhigiri’

Regional News, Telangana News

Striking TSRTC employees resort to ‘Gandhigiri’

Hyderabad, Oct 22 : Employees of TSRTC on Tuesday resorted to ‘Gandhigiri’ and other forms of protests as part of their indefinite strike pressing merger of the coroporation with the government, among others.

The agitating employees of Telangana State Regional Transport Corporation (TSRTC) presented flowers to temporary drivers and conductors engaged by the corporation, requesting them to abstain from work as it would dilute their stir which entered the 18th day.

In Hyderabad, some employees prepared food at an open space as part of their ongoing protest.

Addressing a protest, RTC employees leader E Ashwathama Reddy claimed that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had promised during the Telangana agitation to recognise the RTC staff as government employees if the separate state became a reality.

“We are asking for the same today. Telangana state has become a reality. Our request is to recognise RTC workers as government employees.. That is merger (of RTC with government; a major demand of the striking employees).

You give any name (to it), but we are demanding recognition for 50,000 workers of RTC as government employees,” he said.

Alleging that the state government has misguided the Telangana High Court on the amount of money required to pay the salaries of employees for the September month, Reddy claimed that Rs 105 crore was required (for a month) for payment of salaries.

In response to a petition filed in the High court seeking direction to the TSRTC management to release salaries of over 49,000 employees for September, the TSRTC, in a counter affidavit on Monday submitted that at present only Rs 7.49 crore was available in the Corporation account whereas the monthly wage bill is Rs 239.68 crore.

In a related development, the Hyderabad city police warned against obstructing private drivers who were roped into operate RTC and other buses.

Specific cases would booked under the IPC for assaulting any driver working for RTC, it said.

“..Very firm action will be taken for any such offence,” the city police said.

Different employees and workers unions of TSRTC began an indefinite strike from October 5 across Telangana on a call given by the JAC of the corporation, demanding its merger with the government and recruitment to various posts, among others.

The striking employees, workers of opposition parties and others have been organising protests in support of their demands in the state since then.

Ruling out discussions with the agitating unions, the TRS government had termedthe employees stir as “illegal” as they caused immense inconvenience to public.

The state High Court had directed the RTC management and the employees to sit across the negotiating table and settle all their disputes before October 28.

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