TSRTC staff strike call leave passengers in jitters

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on October 04, 2019

Representative image   -  Nagara Gopal

Employees demand merger of RTC with Govt, pay revision

The plans of thousands of passengers, to visit their native places in Telangana for Dasara, might go awry as about 60,000 employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) are going on a strike at midnight on Friday.

The RTC management has warned the employees that they would be dismissed from the service if they proceed with the strike.

As many as 10 employee unions, including RTC Telangana Mazdoor Union (TMU), TSRTC Staff and Workers Federation, TSRTC Employees Union and TSRTC National Mazdoor Union, have called for a strike from October 5.

The State government has sought the services of private players and announced a temporary drive to recruit drivers as well as conductors to run the fleet.

Employees demand pay revision

The staff belonging to several unions have given the strike notice, demanding merger of the public utility with the government. They are also demanding a pay revision and the filling up of vacancies.

The utility, which has a fleet of over 10,000 buses, is the lifeline of the State as it is the sole operator running the bus services.

Telangana's Transport Department to rope in private players

The  State's Transport Department is trying to rope in private players to ensure smooth travel of the passengers who have reserved their seats.

A senior official of the TSRTC has said that about 50,000 people have reserved their tickets (for travel up to October 6) through online booking system. About one crore people depend on the RTC buses to reach their destinations during the festive season.

The management said that the disruption of services would cause inconvenience to passengers and have asked them to withdraw their strike call.

The joint action committee (JAC) of RTC employees unions, however, is very firm and said that it would go ahead with the strike and would continue it till the government agrees to their demands.

The Government invoked a GO declaring the Motor Transport Industry in the State to be a public utility service under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, for a period of six months. It also prohibited strikes for six months.

The RTC management said that since the issue was in the process of conciliation, the staff could not go on strike. “If they resort to strike during the conciliation proceedings, it would be against the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act,” it warned.

A fresh round of negotiations will continue on Friday between the representatives of the JAC and a government panel set up to end the deadlock.

Published on October 04, 2019

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