Published On: Wed, Oct 16th, 2019

RTC strike: No thaw between govt, employees

Hyderabad: The ongoing strike by employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation continued for the 12th day on Wednesday with no immediate thaw between government and the staff in sight. “Strike is continuing. Even as per the advice of (high) court, neither the (TSRTC) management nor government has come forward for talks.As JAC (Joint Action Committee),we are ready for talks,” Raji Reddy, a leader of employees’ JAC, told PTI.

Representative Image.

The protests would continue on Thursday and Friday in the run-up to the October 19 state bandh called by them, he said, adding that the next course of action would be announced later that day. Reddy said leaders of the national transport workers unions, as also others like Telangana Public sector employees’ federation, on Wednesday extended support to their strike.

The state-wide strike by nearly 48,000 employees of various TSRTC unions, demanding fulfillment of their demands, including merger of RTC with the government, pay revision and recruitment to various posts, among others,began on October 5. Since the strike began, two employees have ended their lives and three attempted suicide.

The Chief Minister had ruled out talks with the employees or taking them back, terming the agitation as “illegal”. The state government has been running some buses from RTC’s fleet, besides private vehicles.

TRS parliamentary party leader K Keshava Rao on Tuesday indicated that he was willing to hold talks with the protesting employees to bring the stir to an end. Rao had earlier urged the workers to call off the strike and resolve their issues amicably through negotiations.

He said on Tuesday he was willing to take up the role of a mediator if asked by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. The Telangana High Court had on Tuesday directed the state government and striking employees to set aside their differences and work towards an amicable settlement.

Former MP and state Congress working president Ponnam Prabhakar on Wednesday said his party would intensify its stir after the October 19 state bandh if the TRS government failed to resolve the RTC strike issue by then. How far it is justified for Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to say that the merger of RTC with state government is not in their election manifesto as TRS had made a promise to the effect during the separate Telangana agitation, he claimed in a statement.

A BJP delegation, which met Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Wednesday, alleged that the state government has been “obstinate and adamant in its stance”. “What is baffling is that it is taking recourse to tactics of intimidation to browbeat the RTC employees.

“Many believe that the government has been doing this with an ulterior motive of handing over the prime properties of RTC at vantage locations across Telangana to private individuals, individuals who have close proximity with the ruling party,” it said in a memorandum to the Governor. Meanwhile, state minister E Dayakar Rao alleged that the opposition parties are politically motivated and that RTC employees are with Chief Minister Rao.

PTI

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