The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) has decided to go ahead with a statewide bandh on Saturday. All opposition parties, people's organisations, and trade unions have declared support to the shutdown call. Telangana employees’ association, teacher unions, and student’s union will also be a part of the protest.
Adding to the woes of the common man, 80,000 cab drivers from Ola and Uber will also join the bandh who are demanding better working conditions and higher per-kilometer payout. The strike comes even as the High Court on Friday asked the State Government and union leaders to hold talks and submit a report based on it on October 28.
The Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan too intervened in the matter and called on State transport minister P Ajay Kumar on Thursday to know the arrangements made to ease the difficulty caused to the commuters due to the strike.
According to the President of the TSRTC, Ashwathama Reddy, the Telangana High Court on October 15 heard both the versions of the Road Transport Corporation (RTC) workers, as well as the government. Reports state that the striking employees have been firm about continuing the strike until their demands are fulfilled. Reddy further stated that they have refused to hold talks with the government, however, the court has directed to hold talks and resolve the issues.
According to reports, the High Court has also ordered the striking employees to not let the normal public be affected due to the on-going issues. Further, sources to the agencies claimed that the State Government will be forming a committee including ministers and officials to hold talks with the RTC employees.
The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) employees started a strike on October 5. The TSRTC has more than 50,000 employees which manage state-run buses across Telangana. 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. Further, the employees are also blaming the government for not taking any action even after two TSRTC employees have died.
The Transport Corporation Joint Action Committee has been demanding for the merger of the Regional Transport Committee with the Telangana Government. The unions of TSRTC employees led by the joint action committee (JAC) have also demanded salary hikes alleging that there has been no revision of pay packages since 2017. They are also asking for the prohibition of electric buses. In addition, they have asked for the long-vacant positions to be filled up to bolster the fleet as well as the reduction of tax on diesel.