HYDERABAD: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao brought good tidings to the striking TSRTC employees on Thursday evening. In a very stoic manner, he asked all the 48,000 employees to resume duties from tomorrow morning. He also added that there would be no conditions attached and that they could join duty.
Briefing reporters on Thursday night after a meeting of the state cabinet, KCR said his government wanted the survival of the corporation and the welfare of employees.
In a stern note, KCR said that RTC trade union leaders would not be called for talks at any cost and it would be in their best interest if the workers refrained from meetings and discussions in the future. He also mentioned that it would be best if the RTC works without trade unions.
Highlights from his speech:
- Increase in bus charges by 20 paise per km from Monday in which RTC will get an additional income of Rs 750 crores.
- Releasing Rs 100 crores to RTC immediately.
- Speaking to five members from each bus depot across the state from next week on their problems.
- RTC welfare councils to be established with two members from each depot
- Job for a family member of the deceased workers who died during the 55-day strike period either in the RTC or on the Government service.
- KCR squarely blamed the unions for the mess caused by the RTC strike and he stated that that RTC without unions what is needed.
- “We will take care of all the employees and you can all happily go and join back your duties in the first hour tomorrow, he said. We will take a decision on the TSRTC after consultation with all stakeholders, and it won’t be done unilaterally, KCR said.
The employees struck work for 52 days beginning October 5 and called it off on November 25, but the RTC management did not allow them to rejoin duty, stating that the matter was pending before the labour commissioner.The RTC management also said the strike had been illegal.
He, however, hit out at the employees unions and opposition parties, including the BJP, for allegedly misleading and creating false hopes for the workmen and trying to gain political mileage.
"We discussed in the cabinet today. All our ministers said (that) our government saved many organisations and provided food to many. What is that we do by throwing them (RTC workmen) on to the roads. We should give them a chance.. They said let us have a humanitarian approach," KCR said.
Saying that the loss-making RTC is left with a balance of only Rs 13 crore, he said the government would provide Rs 100 crore to the corporation immediately.
He said orders would be given to the RTC managing director to raise bus ticket fares to the tune of 20 paise per km from next Monday which would bring additional revenue of about Rs 750 crore per annum to the corporation.The additional revenue would reduce RTC's loss to some extent, he said.
Slamming the unions and opposition parties for allegedly creating false hopes to the employees, he said the Congress and BJP talked about merging RTC with government in Telangana though it was not done in the states ruled by them.
He hit out at Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy and three other BJP MPs from Telangana for talking about welfare of RTC employees though they had voted for a Central legislation which allegedly allowed privatisation (in public transportation)."There is a Union Minister here who belongs to BJP. There are three other MPs...These four had voted for (concerned) transport act which enables privatisation in the budget session (of parliament).
This news had come as a big relief to 48K plus employees of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) and their families, who were not allowed to join duties in the past three days. This has led to widespread fear among the employees that they would have to take forced VRS which left their fate hanging in doldrums.