Workers to go ahead with stir; Minister to meet unions today
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao described the strike call given by Telangana Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) staff as a reflection of irresponsibility and out of context.
“This will go down as the last strike in RTC history if they go ahead with the plan,” he stated in press release on Thursday and warned the RTC unions to withdraw the strike call or else the crew will lose their jobs immediately”. Mr. Rao held a high level meeting with ministers, Chief Secretary S. K. Joshi, Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy, RTC Managing Director G. V. Ramana Rao and senior officials. The meeting discussed alternative arrangements to be made if the strike went on and also weighed the pros and cons if the demands of the unions were to be considered.
He said the strike would put an additional burden of ₹1,400 crore on the government and asked the employees to see the design of their leaders in giving the strike call. The call was given with a view to winning trade union elections in the TSRTC, he added.
Meanwhile, TSRTC in a media release said that Transport Minister P. Mahender Reddy will hold talks over the strike with the employees at the Telangana secretariat. He will also meet Transport Department Principal Secretary Sunil Sharma and TSRTC Chairman S. Satyanarayana. Speaking to The Hindu, office bearers of the Telangana Mazdoor Union (TMU), the body which has called the strike for increase in wages, on Thursday said that they have not dropped their plans.
“We have demanded a hike as per the pay revision commission (PRC). This is due since April 1, 2017. We will follow the strike norms of wearing badges,” said TMU working president M. Thomas Reddy.
Mr. Reddy said that apart from PRC revision, which TSRTC employees should be paid once in four years, the TMU is demanding job security for its employees. He claimed that staff face the threat of suspensions and in some cases even dismissal.
“At the moment, the strike will go as per plan. We will definitely meet the minister at the meeting on Friday,” he said. He declined to comment on the CM’s threat.