TTD contract employees submitting a representation to Executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal in Tirupati on Saturday
TTD contract employees submitting a representation to Executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal in Tirupati on Saturday

Tirupati:  It seems to be a double whammy for TTD management with the contract employees also serving strike notice two days after the TTD regular employees gave an ultimatum to TTD to resolve their demands before August 15.

Representatives of TTD Contract Employees and Workers Union (CEWU) met TTD Executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal at his office here on Saturday and made it clear that they will go on an indefinite strike if the management did not concede their demands on or before August 15. CEWU honorary president and CITU State vice-president Kandarapu Murali who led the delegation submitted a representation to EO Singhal urging him to enhance the salary of contract employees and workers as per Supreme Court order stressing equal pay for equal work in TTD.

Murali said that despite the High Court ruling, TTD had not implemented time-scale to forest workers and sought EO to ensure job security to all the 14,500 employees and workers working on contract basis in various departments in TTD in Tirumala, Tirupati and other places. During the hour-long meeting, the union leaders also explained the raw deal meted out by the management to the employees and workers in various wings in TTD including those working in Annamacharya Project set up by the TTD to promote Bhakti cult through the devotional songs of saint poet Sri Annamacharya and also the long pending demand for regularisation of SVBC (Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel) employees.

The other demands of contract employees include privilege darshan in Tirumala temple on par with regular employees, issuing of ID cards, rest rooms for women workers and extending declared national holidays to the contract employees. The delegation which met the EO includes CEWU secretary T Subramanayam, Forest Employees Union president Suresh, Hostel Workers Union secretary Harikirshna and others. Meanwhile, former MLA and YSR Congress Party general secretary Bhumana Karunakar Reddy extended his support to the demands of TTD contact employees and workers. Speaking to the media here on Saturday, he criticsed the TTD management for dilly-dallying on the demands though it has huge revenue to meet the just demands of the workers. 

It is rather unethical on the part of the richest Hindu institution TTD to exploit the contract employees and workers, he said declaring that the YSR Congress Party will stand with the employees in their fight against management to get a fair deal.

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