Only around 400 Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) employees of the total 50,000 resumed their duties on Tuesday even after the deadline set by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao expired on Monday midnight, said media reports. The Chief Minister's office had warned the TSRTC staff that they will not be taken back if they fail to resume duty. JAC of TSRTC has been on a strike since October 5 demanding merger of the corporation with the state government and revision of pays among other demands. Speaking to media Ashwatama Reddy, president of RTC - Joint Action Committee (JAC) said:
"The RTC unions have decided to boycott CM KCR's call to resume their services unconditionally. All the employees are supporting the strike and they will not join back into services until the government comes forward to hold discussions with us on our demands."
The TSRTC strike has been active for the past few weeks now and they have been demanding the government to fulfill their 26 demands. Terming the strike as 'illegal', the government has clearly stated that the main demand to merge RTC with the government is not possible. The RTC Union approached the High Court and the case is still pending before the divisional bench.
Reportedly, K Chandrasekhar Rao had said that the state cabinet had decided to allot 5,100 of 10,400 routes to private operators and warned that the other routes would also be given to them if the strikers fail to join duty by November 5 midnight. However, the RTC employees continued with their protests at various places and sat in front of RTC bus depots and raised slogans in support of the strike.
As the RTC tried to run buses as part of alternative its arrangements in view of the strike, the protesting employees, at some places, attempted to prevent the buses from being operated. An employee of RTC died of a heart attack in Nalgonda district, the staff claimed on Monday. Three employees had allegedly ended their lives and at least five suicide attempts were reported since the strike began on October 5.
(With Inputs from ANI)