Militant trade unionism, feeding on irresponsible methods to keep employees under its control, is a major hurdle to the progress. History bears testimony to this fact. West Bengal is often cited as the example of how unbridled trade unionism hinders industrial development and progress. As a similar tactic is unfolding in the Telangana transport sector, with open instigation from opposition parties, the employees must see through the devious designs and resume their duties in the interests of the future of their organisation and their own future. They must seize the window of opportunity provided by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao and get back to work before the November 5 deadline. Even while taking a tough stand on the illegal strike, the Chief Minister has reached out to employees with a message of compassion and concern for their well-being. While unveiling a clear-cut roadmap to improve operational efficiency and profitability of the loss-making TSRTC, he has demonstrated his commitment to the cause of the employees by holding out an olive branch to them despite severe disruption caused to the public transport due to their prolonged agitation. It is time the striking employees came out of the spell of the self-seeking union leaders and take charge of their future. They need to become partners in the growth of the corporation and in improving the services for commuters. The wheels of development should not be allowed to halt in the name of exercising the right to protest.
There is a thin line between bargaining and blackmailing, particularly when it pertains to the collective interests of trade unions. Irrespective of whether the demands are legitimate or not, the methods being adopted by the RTC unions are totally unjustified and evoke little sympathy from general public. In fact, they are widely seen as blackmailing tactics. Instead of becoming flag-bearers of change and participants in the organisational growth, the unions are simply shooting themselves in the foot by their misguided notions. One must realise that the days of the economic policies of the governments being held to ransom by militant trade unionism are over. In the post-liberalised economy, the organisations, both the state-owned and private, need to shed the old baggage of adversarial labour relations and make everyone an active participant in the organisational growth. Instead of being disruptive forces, the unions are required to contribute to the growth of the organisations, work for the genuine welfare of employees and promote productivity. The policy matters are better left to the elected governments to decide. The state government did a right thing by refusing to succumb to the pressure tactics of the unions and quickly putting in place alternative arrangements to mitigate the hardship of commuters.