HYDERABAD: The decision to keep the demand for TSRTC’s merger with the government on the back burner was now sudden. In fact, it was taken around a week ago, said TSRTC union leaders on Friday.
The move came after the TSRTC workers lamented over their deteriorating financial conditions and urged the unions to either do something drastic or keep aside the merger demand so the government would invite them for talks.
However, it appears that the decision was also taken in a bid to turn public sympathy towards the workers, as there was a growing discontentment among commuters, who were also affected by the consequences of the strike.
Senior JAC leaders said that while the workers wanted them to take the merger demand off the table for now, they also wanted show the public that it was the State government that was backing away from opportunities of negotiation.
“The State has blocked every negotiation stating that the unions merely want a merger and that the merger was impossible. With Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao continuing his no-negotiation stance, we have decided to keep aside our most crucial demand even though nearly 30 people died for it,” added VS Rao, leader of Staff and Workers Federation.
It was learnt that some of the TSRTC workers began feeling that the merger demand had become a cause for ego clashes between the union leadership and the chief minister. This, they knew, will only worsen matters for the 50,000 workers. "At least 70 per cent of workers are dependent on their salary only. Only a handful have alternative financial means," added Mohammed Khaleel, a union leader. These opinions were conveyed during a meeting called before the ‘Chalo Tank Bund’ protests.