Non-regular staff of APTDC in ASR district in Andhra Pradesh go on indefinite strike seeking regularisation of services, better wages and incentives

They want immediate response to their demands

November 11, 2023 07:27 pm | Updated 11:42 pm IST - Visakhapatnam

 APTDC non-regular workers staging a protest at Borra Caves in Alluri Sitharama Raju district on Saturday.

APTDC non-regular workers staging a protest at Borra Caves in Alluri Sitharama Raju district on Saturday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGMENT

As the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) gears up to earn good money this tourism season, its 263 non-regular staff in Alluri Sitharama Raju (ASR) district, has gone on indefinite strike from Saturday. ASR district has become a hotspot for tourists, as its temperature dips and there are a number of popular tourist spots like the million-year-old Borra Caves and Araku Valley.

In their demands, they have asked the State government to regularise the services of those working on contract and daily wage basis, among other demands. Some of the protesters engaged in heated arguments with tourists at the tourist spots for not supporting their agitation, said local police, who mobilised their force at six tourism spots to prevent any untoward incidents.

The protesters under the banner of AP Tourism Contract, Manpower, Daily-Wage Workers Union, affiliated to the CITU, refused to call off their strike until APTDC top brass responded to their protests. They raised slogans against the APTDC and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

“On Friday, in the presence of APTDC Regional Director Phani Srinivas, our talks failed. So, we decided to go on strike from Saturday. Mr. Srinivas assured us that the issue will be resolved by March 2024. We want immediate response,” said Deesari Gangaraju, honorary president of the union and ZPTC member from Anantagiri mandal.

Another leader R.K.S.V. Kumar said, “If the government fails to come forward for fruitful talks, we will shut the doors of Borra Caves and intensify the protest.”

On behalf of the protesters, K.M. Srinivasa Rao from CITU, said that Araku, Borra Caves and Anantagiri are providing the highest source of income to the APTDC. Almost 90% of the staff working in these tourism spots are tribals, but the authorities are unwilling to provide adequate wages and incentives for their livelihood, he said.

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