RTC talks fail again; workers intent on strike

RTC talks fail again; workers intent on strikeSpecial Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar briefing media on the outcome of talks with the RTC workers’ unions, in Hyderabad on Thursday

The talks between the government and the RTC workers’ unions failed on the second day as the union leaders said that they would be going for strike to save the Corporation.

Hyderabad: The talks between the government and the RTC workers' unions failed on the second day as the union leaders said that they would be going for strike to save the Corporation.

The three-member committee formed by the government on RTC issues has sought time of two month for studying the RTC. The committee has assured to resolve every issue given by the union leaders and wanted the JAC leaders to call off the strike considering the Dasara festival and inconvenience to the people.

However, the RTC JAC leaders said that they are going to strike only to save the public transport in the State.

JAC leader E Ashwadhama Reddy said, "We are fighting for saving the public transport and RTC. If the government can reimburse the Rs 2,500 crore dues the RTC will not be in any loses. The strike will continue... people should support for saving the RTC."

The state government as announced has readied Plan B to thwart the plans of RTC workers to go on strike from October 5. The depot managers have been asked to get ready with the contract/ casual, outsourcing and retired employees and also hire bus owners for their services in case workers resort to strike.

The government has asked the divisional managers, depot managers to take contingency measures in wake of the strike proposed by the workers.

The government has asked all the DVMs/ DMs to place indent for 15 days ticket stock from Zonal Stores Uppal and collect the same. The officials were asked to contact the PHB (private hired buses) owners on cell phone and inform them to be ready to operate buses on condition of 'no payment by either side' and they have to make arrangements for conductors for their services.

The officials were also asked to collect the phone numbers of all contract/ casual employees and keep it ready and also all categories of out-sourcing contractors, workers, names of ITI apprentices and phone numbers and they should be informed to attend to duties in case of strike getting materialised.

The officials were also asked to collect names and phone numbers of recently retired employees of all categories like conductors, drivers, ADC, DC, TI, STI, CI, and DMS also, list out names and phone numbers of staff children who may come forward to work as conductors.

The officials were asked to contact local transport department officials (RTO/MVIs) and collect all eligible drivers having 18 months experience to drive heavy passenger vehicles along with their phone numbers.

Regarding the issue of tickets (waybill), collection of revenue from sale of tickets (cash receiving) and remittance of cash in bank would be finalised by the officials in consultation with AO of the region.

The workers union leaders alleged that the government was trying to provoke the workers. The unions were angry that the government called them for talks and was preparing contingency plans in front of them. They have threatened to boycott talks.

Meanwhile, the drivers and conductors' union working in the private hire buses have decided to support the strike call given by the unions. PHB state president G Tirupati Reddy and drivers support the strike call.

Transport Minister P Ajay Kumar on Thursday asked the TSRTC officials to ensure the public transport is not affected and people are not subject to inconvenience because of the strike by the workers.

The minister asked the officials to run all the hired buses and give the stage carriage licence to the contract carriages with nominal rates and also talk to the Railway and Metro officials to run additional MMTS and Metro trains.

He asked the police officials to provide security to the RTC buses which are operated during the strike period.

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