Telangana State Road Transport Corporation protest called off as government offers 16 per cent relief
After days of drama, the Telangana Mazdoor Union (TMU) has withdrawn its call for a Statewide TSRTC strike that was scheduled to begin Monday. The decision was taken after the TSRTC management decided
HYDERABAD: After days of drama, the Telangana Mazdoor Union (TMU) has withdrawn its call for a Statewide TSRTC strike that was scheduled to begin Monday. The decision was taken after the TSRTC management decided to give 16 per cent interim relief to its employees as per the directive of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
The talks between TMU leaders and a ministerial panel headed by KT Rama Rao, T Harish Rao and E Rajender, that lasted the entire Sunday, ended on a happy note, providing relief to about 94 lakh passengers who travel in RTC buses daily across the State. “The 16 per cent relief will be released from July onwards,” announced TMU general secretary Ashwathama Reddy.
However, some of the unrecognised unions cried foul and are still unhappy with the government announcement. Some of these unions’ leaders, particularly National Mazdoor Union (NMU), expressed displeasure over the way the TMU -- the only recognised union of TSRTC workers -- accepted the 16 percent relief.
They said there were a total of 24 demands. “Only one demand has so far been looked at by the government. That too, the government announced mere 16 per cent, which is unfair. Further, the government has not committed to provide the required financial assistance to the loss-making RTC,” NMU leaders said.
After successful negotiations KTR praised Harish Rao, the honorary president of TMU, for convincing RTC staff. More:
Earlier in the day, extensive negotiations were held by the ministerial panel led by T Harish Rao and E Rajender with the leaders of TMU. At one point of time, TMU leaders demanded that they be given at least 20 per cent IR. But, when the minsters conveyed this to the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao at Pragathi Bhavan, according to sources, KCR categorically told them that the government cannot accept the demands of RTC staff.
Later, while addressing media along with Ashwathama Reddy, Finance Minister Rajender said even though employees wanted 25 per cent IR, the government had decided to give them 16 percent relief.
Minister KT Rama Rao said that even though TSRTC was incurring huge losses, the Chief Minister being employees-friendly leader had directed the ministerial panel to announce 16 per cent IR.“As RTC staff played a historic role in Telangana movement, CM has special love for them. Hence, he directed us to announce 16% IR, despite the corporation making losses,” KTR said.
KTR, then, praised the Irrigation Minister Harish Rao, the honorary president of TMU, for his contribution in making the RTC employees’ leaders agree to the government proposals.Harish said the CM would soon constitute a high level committee to find out ways to improve the financial health of TSRTC. The proposed panel would also look into various demands put forward by RTC staff, he added. “Once the proposed panel submits its report to CM, he will take a final call on how much pay hike should be given to RTC staff,” Harish said.
Rs 16 crore monthly burden for TSRTC
According to Transport Minister P Mahender Reddy, the 16 percent IR will impose a financial burden of Rs 16 crore every month on the government. Per year, the government will have to bear Rs 200 crore burden, he added. He said State government had so far given Rs 3,000 crore to the TSRTC, which is burdened with debts, in order to make the corporation financially sustainable and Rs 1,000 crore for new buses