President of the Vizag Development Council P. Vishnu Kumar Raju, who was elected honorary president of the National Mazdoor Union (NMU) of APSRTC, struck an instant chord with employees who attended the meeting organised by the union at the Maddilapalem Bus Complex on Tuesday. He recalled how he used to travel by RTC bus everyday to his school. “I had great admiration for conductors and drivers since then. The contribution of RTC employees for the cause of Samaikhyandhra was immense,” he said. “The prospect of RTC workers having to forego their salaries for two months made me sad. I along with some other friends in the IT industry and other associations contributed in a small way in their hour of difficulty,” he said.

Mr. Raju promised to stand by the workers and take up their issues with people’s representatives, irrespective of the party in power.

He recalled how problems of women conductors such as lack of toilets and rest rooms at depots and bus terminals were brought to the notice of Union Minister D. Purandeswari. The problems were likely to be sorted out in three to four months.

Mr. Raju said he would step down if he failed to achieve some of the demands such as house sites for RTC workers at concessional rate, increasing payscales of RTC workers on a par with other government employees.

BJP city president P.V. Narayana Rao hoped that the two-month-long strike by the RTC workers for Samaikhyandhra would not go waste.

CII president G. Sambasiva Rao, retired DSP T.S.R. Prasad, and several NMU leaders were present.

Later, NMU presidents and secretaries of various depots felicitated Mr. Raju.

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