TSRTC-JAC firm on strike from Oct. 5

Talks between JAC and government appointed panel make no headway

October 02, 2019 11:48 pm | Updated 11:48 pm IST - HYDERABAD

TSRTC-JAC members staging a protest at MGBS in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

TSRTC-JAC members staging a protest at MGBS in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Talks between Telangana State Road Transport Corporation Joint Action Committee (TSRTC-JAC) and the Chief Minister-appointed panel comprising IAS officers made no headway with the former standing their ground and announcing intentions to continue with the scheduled strike ahead of Dasara, on October 5.

On Wednesday morning, the panel headed by Special Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and comprising Principal Secretaries Sunil Sharma and Ramakrishna Rao first met with senior TSRTC management, including Executive Directors. Later, around 1 p.m., TSRTC-JAC leaders, including Ashwathama Reddy and Thomas Reddy sat in deliberations.

Addressing the media, Mr Kumar said the panel has not only been tasked with looking into the strike, but also to take steps to make TSRTC a ‘good’ and ‘sustainable’ organisation. Without mentioning any deadline, he said the panel would submit its report to the State government.

Mr. Kumar maintained that the government is sympathetic of the TSRTC and is willing to discuss the JAC’s demands. He added that the panel is looking at short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions. He implored the unions not to inconvenience Dasara travellers. If the JAC goes on strike, Mr Kumar said a ‘Plan – B’ would be implemented.

Mr Kumar refused to answer a query seeking information on the fate of the 10-member expert committee constituted in July 2018, tasked with a similar mandate, and its recommendations on TSRTC’s sustainability and better functioning. The experts committee was to submit its recommendations within three months.

Soon after the panel of IAS officers addressed the media, JAC leaders, including Ashwathama Reddy, said the unions would proceed with their plans despite the panel stating that it has a Plan – B.

“As JAC, we have to keep into consideration the sentiments of workers and proceed accordingly. Hence, to work towards solutions to problems of RTC workers, we will stick to the old decisions we took,” Mr Reddy said. The JAC leader stated that the government had constituted similar panels in the past and that reports of these panels were not given to them. He also pointed out that the panel of officers did not mention how long it would take to submit a report. Mr Reddy said that a majority of their 26 demands could be met without much difficulty. “Our protests will continue. I call on all workers to make this a huge success. Our fight is to save RTC. We request everyone to kindly understand this and cooperate,” he said.

Meanwhile, another meeting with the trade unions is scheduled on Thursday.

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