Hyderabad: Relaxing its stance that it would not accept any other way forward than a merger of the TSRTC with the government, the RTC employee unions’ Joint Action Committee finally said on Thursday that it would keep aside the merger demand.
This was stated by RTC JAC co-convenor and Telangana Mazdoor Union working president M Thomas Reddy, who expressed hope that since the call for a merger was being put aside, talks would be held and the 41-day-old standoff resolved.
“As the merger was the bone of contention between us and the State government, we are keeping aside the merger issue temporarily,” he told Telangana Today over phone. The JAC’s announcement came after the State government categorically stated that there was no scope for merging the RTC with the government.
“We have been taking part in the strike for the last 41 days to press for our demands but no one from the government has been paying heed. The Ministers are also not allowing us to meet them,” Reddy said.
HC proposal welcomed
The JAC, welcoming the High Court’s proposal to set up a committee of three retired judges from the Supreme Court for arbitration, said the issue could not be settled in the Labour Court as the JAC’s demands were related to policy and financial issues.
Meanwhile, TSRTC JAC convenor E Ashwathama Reddy alleged that when RTC workers were committing suicide, Ministers, MLAs and officials were not even bothered to console the bereaved families.
Announcing the action plan from November 15 to 19, he said bike rallies would be taken out in every village on November 15, while he, along with JAC leaders K Raji Reddy, Lingamurthy and Sudha, would take part in a mass protest on November 16.
Protests would be organized in front of all depots on November 17 and 18 followed by a ‘Sadak Bandh’ from Hyderabad to Kodad on November 19.
The TSRTC employees have been protesting for 41 days now, raising about 26 demands, with the merger of the corporation with the government being the chief one. Salary hikes and improvements in work conditions were also among the demands. The government had twice set deadlines for the striking employees to return to work, the last one ending on November 5.