HYDERABAD:There seems no end in sight to the ongoing RTC strike, which enters the seventh day Tuesday, with the APSRTC Employees’ Union (EU) refusing to accept the AP cabinet sub-committee’s request to defer the stir and the RTC Telangana Mazdoor Union (TMU) too sticking to its guns.
However, in a sign that it is pushing hard for a solution, the Telangana government on Monday directed the finance department to work out the financial implications of meeting the demands of employees, including payment of 43 per cent fitment. The Telangana cabinet sub-committee along with finance officials held talks with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
The Chief Minister directed the cabinet sub-committee to try to strike a balance between the welfare of the employees and the RTC’s financial health. The State government also roped in two more ministers, G Jagadish Reddy and Talasani Srinivas Yadav, as members of the cabinet sub-committee. Following talks with KCR, the panel held a meeting on the possible financial burden on RTC, if the government met the demands of the unions. It directed finance secretary Pradeep Chandra to work out the likely financial burden on the RTC.
Though the employees are demanding 43 per cent fitment, the State government may consider giving 30-37 per cent, sources told Express. If it does so, the additional annual financial burden on the RTC would be around `300-500 crore.
However, KCR did not give any commitment on the fitment and left the matter to the cabinet sub-committee. “Once the finance officials submit their report, we will discuss the same with the CM on Tuesday. We will also hold talks with the two unions. If necessary, a meeting between unions and the CM will be arranged,” Labour Minister Narasimha Reddy said.
“We are hopeful that the issue will be resolved. We will ensure welfare of RTC employees and financial health of the RTC, without imposing much burden on the people in the form of hiked fares,” he added. Narasimha Reddy pointed out that the TSRTC’s accumulated loss was `1,700 crore. Around 56,000 employees have been on an indefinite strike demanding salaries on a par with State government employees.
The unions will file a counter in the High Court on Tuesday explaining why their strike is legal. On Saturday, the court had ruled the strike illegal. Besides, the unions have also termed the recruitment of drivers and conductors during the ongoing strike as violation of rules, and said they would submit memoranda to the District Labour Commissioners to take action against RTC officials.