TSRTC strike: After 52 days, Telangana transport employees’ strike called off

TSRTC JAC E. Ashwathama Reddy addressing a press conference for calling off the RTC strike in Hyderabad on Monday.

TSRTC JAC E. Ashwathama Reddy addressing a press conference for calling off the RTC strike in Hyderabad on Monday.  

TSRTC Joint Action Committee (TSRTC JAC) leaders called off their 52-day-long strike on Monday evening. Giving a call to RTC employees to resume duties from 6 a.m. of Tuesday, they have requested temporary drivers and conductors, who have been offering services during the strike period, not to attend duties.

“We request the State government to refer our issues to Labour Court and provide peaceful conditions for us to work. We submitted a letter to the government and the Corporation’s management stating the requests. But we did not receive any response,” convener of the TSRTC JAC E. Ashwathama Reddy said.

Stating that government is taking steps to privatise RTC, he urged employees to go to depots from 6 a.m. of Tuesday morning and attend duties. Though Mr. Ashwathama Reddy on November 20 said they would call off the strike if the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation’s (TSRTC) employees are allowed to join duties unconditionally, they called it off without receiving the assurance from the State government or the Corporation’s management.

List of demands

The RTC employees launched the strike on October 5 with a list of 26 demands which includes merger of TSRTC with State government, job security to bus drivers and conductors, filling up of vacancies.

Since thousands of drivers, conductors, mechanics and other staff members did not attend duties, the public transportation system got affected. The Corporation hired temporary drivers and conductors to continue the services. Though the State government gave two deadlines for the striking employees to rejoin duties, only a few of them responded to it. The JAC leaders on multiple occasions announced that they were determined to continue the strike. However, they softened their stand 10-days ago. The leaders stated that they were temporarily dropping the demand of merger of the Corporation with the government. Meanwhile, JAC leaders Mr. Ashwathama Reddy and one of the co-conveners K Raji Reddy launched indefinite fast from November 16.

Telangana High Court on November 18 disposed of all the PIL pleas praying that the strike be declared illegal or for instructions to government to hold talks with workers. The High Court said that it was the Labour Court that had to decide upon legalities of the strike as per the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act.

On the same evening, the two leaders called off their fast and said they will take final decision on the strike after going through the Court’s order copy. The JAC leaders said that they received the Court’s order copy on November 20 and held a meeting to review it. Thereafter, Mr. Ashwathama Reddy requested the State government and the RTC management to allow employees to rejoin duties without any conditions, to provide the same environment which existed before October 4.

On Monday, they called off the strike and urged the employees to join duties to save the Corporation.

One of the four co-conveners of the JAC, K. Raji Reddy said that they have succeeded in taking the ‘failures’ of the government and the Corporation to notice of people.

“Our fight to protect the TSRTC will continue. If need be, we might launch an agitation by forming a committee comprising of people from all sections and intellectuals,” Mr. Raji Reddy said.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 2:11:55 PM |

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