As the strike by the Telangana State Road Transport Corp. (TSRTC) employees entered its 47th day on Wednesday, the unions said they were ready to call it off if the state government was willing to take back the 51,000-plus employees into service unconditionally. On October 5, the employees were fired for going on a strike against the government.
The state government is yet to react to the offer. Earlier, Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, or KCR, had given an ultimatum to the TSRTC employees to return to work by 5 November, or they will be considered “self-dismissed". KCR also said that 5,100 private vehicles will be given permits to run on TSRTC routes.
Earlier, the government had however asked them to join back after giving an undertaking that they would not be part of any Unions. The employees declined the offer and now say that they are ready to call off the strike and join back provided the government does not keep any conditions.
Almost 15 TSRTC employees were taken into custody on Saturday when they were protesting in front of the Farooq Nagar bus depot in Telangana. The RTC joint action committee has called for a 'bus roko' protest in Telangana. Section 144 has also been imposed in the State. Meanwhile, the protestors have decided to temporarily drop their main demand for the Corporation's merger with the government. The Joint action committee took the step after the Government showed no signs of reacting to the employee's demands after its 41st day of protest. The protestors have been demanding several demands including revision of pay and asking for the TRSTC to merge with the Government.
On November 15, another RTC employee passed away after suffering a mental shock. According to reports, the deceased, identified as P Nageshwar, had suffered a mental shock after Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s announcement to dismiss all striking RTC employees if they did not return to work by November 5. Following the incident, the Government announced ex gratia and a house for the family of the deceased. Another TSRTC driver allegedly committed suicide on Wednesday in Mahabubabad district as the indefinite stir by the employee' unions entered the 40th day. A Naresh (45), consumed a poisonous substance at his house in the wee hours and was rushed to a hospital where he died without responding to treatment, police said. According to reports, more than 20 TSRTC employees have lost their life due to suicide or heart attacks.
The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) strike has been going on over a month now. The employees started a strike on October 5. The Transport Corporation Joint Action Committee has been demanding for the merger of the Regional Transport Committee with the Telangana government. They are also asking for the prohibition of electric buses. According to reports, ever since the beginning of the strike, more than 2,000 busses have remained grounded in the State. After the TSRTC employee, Srinivas Reddy, who died after allegedly immolating himself, protests also broke out in different parts of the city and other places, with employees raising slogans and holding the state government responsible for his death.