TS govt and TSRTC staff talks breakdown

TS govt and TSRTC staff talks breakdown

BLF, MCPI (U) activists being detained by police during a protest at Bus Bhavan in solidarity with RTC employees strike in Hyderabad, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (PTI Photo)

The first-ever talks between the management of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) and the employees' unions broke down even without taking up a single issue here on Saturday. The talks were called by the management as per the directions of the High Court which has directed both the parties to sit across the table and find out an amicable solution.

The talks which were held at the Engineer in Chief of Roads and Buildings department at Errammanzil here concluded within half an hour with the union leaders walking out of the negations in a huff. The trouble began when the TSRTC Executive Directors team headed by the TSRTC Managing Director refused to discuss the Government-RTC merger issue which was the main demand of the unions. The management said that it is ready to discuss all the 21 demands except merger.

“The Management has cited the 15 October Court’s order which never mentioned that merger was off the table,” Joint Action Committee (JAC) convener Aswathama Reddy said. He opined that the K Chandrasekhar Rao government called for the meeting only to face the High Court which will be dealing with the petitions on Monday.

Another JAC leader Srinivasa Rao objected to the restriction o the number of RTC leaders that wished to attend the meeting. The invitation mentioned only the names of Ashwathama Reddy, K Raji Reddy, V Srinivasa Rao and K.Vasudeva Rao both Co-conveners, and all the attendees were asked to submit their mobile phones outside the meeting hall. “It took half an hour for us to take those phones back. It is like talks between two enemy countries,” Rao rued suspecting that their phones might have been searched for phone calls.

Aswathama Reddy later said that the strike will continue as per plan and the employees will be ready for talks on any issue without any precondition. The tough stance by the unions came after the Chief Minister KCR addressing a press conference at the TRS headquarters on Friday ruled out merger and even called the Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to merge the RTC with the government as foolish.