RTC buses go off roads in TS, AP
With the talks of seeking 43 per cent fitment on par with government employees reaching no consensus, Road Transport Corporation (RTC) workers unions have gone on strike. As many as 28,000 buses in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have gone off the roads as about 1.2 lakh RTC crew struck work from midnight.
Management offers 27% fitment as against demand for 43%
Hyderabad: With the talks of seeking 43 per cent fitment on par with government employees reaching no consensus, Road Transport Corporation (RTC) workers unions have gone on strike. As many as 28,000 buses in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have gone off the roads as about 1.2 lakh RTC crew struck work from midnight.
After day-long discussions with Andhra Pradesh Transport Minister Sidda Raghava Rao and Telangana Transport Minister P Mahender Reddy, RTC Employees Union announced that bus services would not be operated in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, including the buses to the hill shrine of Tirumala.
The Employees Unions (EU) and Telangana Mazdoor Union (TMU) representatives walked out from the discussion table as the management failed to give any assurance on 43 per cent fitment. RTC managing director Sambasiva Rao said that the management was prepared to give 27 per cent fitment and in such a case, the RTC will be forced to increase the bus fare by 15 per cent. By increasing the fare the RTC would earn Rs 750 crore and it would be used for 27 per cent fitment.
The employees unions feel that this was a clever move by the management of pitting the people against the workers. The fare hike would put the RTC employees in bad light and would not get popular support from commuters. Recalling the previous strikes, the union leaders say that they had enjoyed full support from the people and they were confident that this time also they would understand why they were forced to go on strike.
The management’s offer of 27 per cent fitment was nothing new since the employees were already getting that percentage as interim relief. The union leaders said that they failed to understand why the management was not in a position to meet their main demand and sought time till July. It could have asked the two governments to agree for alternative methods like reduction of tax on diesel instead of threatening to hike the fare.
The government was giving 1 per cent cut in case of aviation turbine fuel but when it comes to the common man, it was not willing to reduce the taxes on diesel, they added. With the RTC employees turning down the government’s offer, the RTC management swung into action and was making all-out efforts for making alternative arrangements. It has asked people with heavy vehicle driving licence to register with RTC. Even lorry drivers can register with RTC. The corporation has offered Rs 1,000 per driver and Rs 800 for conductor as wages.