Telangana CM K. Chandrashekhar Rao.
Telangana CM K. Chandrashekhar Rao.

Telangana: KCR takes back 48,000-odd TSRTC employees

  • All 48,000 employees of TSRTC can re-join their duties on Friday
  • KCR govt releases Rs100 crore for debt-ridden TSRTC

HYDERABAD : In a major relief to employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC), chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Thursday said that the entire 48,000-odd workforce can re-join their duties on Friday. His announcement came after a cabinet meeting, which was held to discuss the debt-ridden TSRTC’s fate and after the employees had gone on a 52-day strike (which ended on 25 November) after which they were not allowed to join back by the TSRCT management.

“We will take care of all the employees and you can all happily go and join back your duties in the first hour tomorrow. And please thank the temporary workers (who were hired by the TSRTC in wake of the strike). We will take a decision on the TSRTC after consultation with all stakeholders, and it won’t be done unilaterally," said Rao (KCR), while addressing a press conference at Pragathi Bhavan, his camp office, after the cabinet meeting.

The TSRTC employees had gone on the strike starting 5 October and were led by a handful of unions, which put forth 26 demands, with the primary one being to merge the TSRTC with the state government (it is an autonomous organization). However, Rao had outrightly rejected it, and had warned the employees that they would be considered “self-dismissed" if they didn’t get back to work by 5 November.

However, the employees did not heed his warning, and after the unions called-off the strike on 25 November, the TSRTC managing director Sunil Sharma said that the entire workforce would not be allowed to join back. That decision kept everyone on their toes until Thursday, when KCR finally decided to take them back. The chief minister also said that employment will be provided to the family members of the employees who had died during duration of the 52-day protest.

“Rs100 crore will also be released immediately for (TS)RTC. If you follow these unions, then it will not help. You must be thinking then what to do without the unions if there are issues. We will set up worker welfare councils, so if you follow my orders, we can turn the TSRTC into a profit making entity. The unions have played with the lives of employees. I will distribute all the information about the RTC to every employee," stated KCR.

Before the cabinet meeting, it was anticipated that the chief minister would also announce something on the privatization of the TSRTC. KCR had previously announced that 5,100 private vehicles would be given permits to ply on TSRTC routes. However, on Thursday, he said that the employees who take voluntary retirement from the TSRTC will be given support in case they want to work for private operators post retirement.

The strike by the TSRTC unions had crippled public transport initially, prompting the state government to hire temporary drivers to run some of the bus services. Moreover, the indefinite strike has also led to the TSRTC suffering major losses. The organizarion has suffered a loss of over Rs200 crore in over a month due to the strike by its employees.

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