PRTC workers to go on strike against privatisation

Up in arms: Buses of the Puducherry Road Transport Corpo-ration parked in the depot in Orleanpet on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: KUMAR SS

About 750 drivers, conductors and other workers of the government-owned Puducherry Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) owing allegiance to various trade unions have proposed to go on an indefinite strike from December 28 in protest of the proposed move to privatise the services.

A spokesperson of the DMK-affiliated Labour Progressive Front (LPF) said representatives of all trade unions had submitted a memorandum to the government asking it to reconsider the decision.

“We will go ahead with the strike if the government fails to consider our demands and guarantee the rights and benefits of the transport workers,” he said.

Ten unions, including the LPF, BMS, INTUC and PRTC All Employees Unions have called for the strike.

The PRTC has a fleet size of 140 buses including 55 Express buses.

“The attempts of the government to privatise the service will not be tolerated. Salaries of the crew and workers attached to various depots have not been paid for the past six months,” V. Ramamoorthy, general secretary of LPF, said. “The management has also failed to pay the insurance premium and dues to Employees Provident Fund Organisation,” he added.

Trade unions said that a majority of the buses were not fit to ply on the roads. Despite repeated attempts, the government has failed to revamp the fleet or shore up the revenue, they said.

“Iincreasing the fleet, payment of pending salaries and regularising the services of contract employees — these are our main demands,” a spokesperson of the PRTC All Employees Unions Associations said.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 10:22:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/prtc-workers-to-go-on-strike-against-privatisation/article33429946.ece

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