HYDERABAD: The TSRTC unions’ strike, which has been going on for the past three days, has come under legal scrutiny. The unions, of course, maintain that their strikes were legally tenable, as they gave notice as per Section 22 of Industrial Disputes Act well before 30 days of going on strike.
The government, however, seems to differ on the same.
In a letter dated September 30, the Joint Labour Commissioner of the twin cities, who was appointed as the conciliation official to resolve the dispute, cited two provisions to dismiss this strike as illegal if it were to take place.
One was that a G.O issued by the Department of Transport, Roads and Building — G.O MS No. 09, prohibits strike by any service under the Telangana State Road Transportation Corporation constituted under the Road Transport Corporation Act.
The prohibition was for a period of six months from June 1, 2019. Over and above this, the letter cites that a G.O issued by the LET&F department — G.O Rt No. 408 — declared the Motor Transport Industry in Telangana a public utility service, for a period of six months from June 1, 2019. This further makes the act of strike illegal.
However, according to the Industrial Disputes Act, if such a strike has to happen in case of a dispute relating to a public utility service, and a notice has been given under Section 22, the government must start the proceedings.
“For the larger benefit of people, the department can notify some services as public utility services. If that is the case, these services can’t go on strike. As there was a conciliation meeting on October 4, they should not have gone on a strike on October 5,” the conciliation officer told Express.
Furthermore, the letter states, Section 22(1) (D) of the LD Act, 1947 reads that during the pendency of any conciliation proceedings before a conciliation officer, and less than seven days after the conclusion of such proceedings, one cannot go on strike.