Tension at TSRTC depots as workers prevented from resuming duty

Police erect barricades, detain employees outside bus depots

Tension prevailed outside TSRTC bus depots across the State, a day after Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) Joint Action Committee (JAC) called off its 52-day-long strike, and gave a call to employees to join duty from 6 a.m. on Tuesday. Thousands of employees gathered near depots and workshops, at the crack of dawn, holding letters of request to allow them to discharge duty. They marched in batches with a feeble hope of resuming duty, but their hopes were dashed as police stopped them from entering the offices and detained them.

On Monday evening, a few hours after TSRTC-JAC convener E. Ashwathama Reddy had urged employees to join duty, the corporation management said workers would not be allowed to resume as going on strike or wanting to return to duty could not be at their “whims and fancies”. TSRTC Managing Director Sunil Sharma had said no public sector undertaking in the country would allow workers to abstain from or return to duty at will.

A large number of police personnel were deployed at all depots, offices and workshops of the corporation from Tuesday morning. They asked for identity of people who wanted to enter bus depots and stations. Barricades and concertina coils were placed at entry and exit points of the offices. Hired drivers and conductors had to show proof of identity.

Some employees broke down when their hopes to join duty crashed . In some districts, such as Sangareddy and Karimnagar, a few employees collapsed owing to health conditions such as high blood pressure.

At some places, including Jubilee Bus Station and West Marredpally, a few passengers were taken aback when they were asked to produce identity cards to enter the premises.

At Ranigunj bus depot, police took at least 15 persons into preventive custody by 8.30 a.m. This did not deter employees who gathered in bylanes half a kilometre from the depot and marched together, holding letters of request.

Anticipating a large group, police were waiting for them. As soon as the employees entered Ranigunj main road, they were stopped and taken into preventive custody.

Alleging that the State government and the RTC management had intentionally pushed employees towards strike, JAC convener Ashwathama Reddy said they were not at fault. He said the working class was hurt as the RTC management did not respond though they had come forward to resume duty, considering the situation of the corporation and the employees.

Mr Reddy requested the State government to allow the employees to resume work without punitive action .

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 5:30:36 PM |

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