RTC employees' strike cripples life in Telugu states

RTC employees' strike cripples life in Telugu states - Sakshi Post

Hyderabad: Normal life was hit in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as employees of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) went on an indefinite strike from Wednesday demanding a pay hike.

Office-goers and normal passengers in the two states faced inconvenience as employees of APSRTC struck work demanding 43 per cent hike in their salaries at par with the other government employees of the two states. The employees resorted to strike after APSRTC management expressed its inability to concede their demand in view of its poor financial health and the ongoing process of dividing the Corporation between AP and Telangana. Maintaining that the employees cannot be blamed for poor financial condition of the organisation, employees insisted on pay hike and promised to do their best to improve the situation if their demand is met.
The APSRTC is yet to be divided between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, following state's bifurcation in 2014. Meanwhile, the state governments have initiated alternative measures like hiring drivers and conductors on a temporary basis. Andhra Pradesh Transport Minister Sidda Raghava Rao said the government would speak to the Railways to make additional arrangements for passengers.
Meanwhile, the employees' union leaders said they would not be cowed down if the corporation decides to invoke Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA). APSRTC, which operates more than 20,000 buses, is the major public transport in both the states. Its buses cover about 79.83 lakh kms and carry 156.78 lakh people to their destinations everyday. Taking advantage of the strike, private transport like auto rickshaw and taxis charged exorbitant fares.

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