Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao sacked about 48,000 employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) for going on an indefinite strike since Friday midnight. The government had given a deadline to the dissenting employees of 6 pm on Saturday to report back to work to save their jobs.
The battle line are drawn with trade bodies ready to challenge the state government's decision.
Alluri Ravishankar, member of Bhartiya Majdhoor Sangham said, “They have done nothing wrong. According to Trade Dispute Act, the notice for a strike should be given 15 days before, the RTC employees have given it 20 days before. Protesting for their rights is their right."
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Telangana RTC employees and workers’ unions called for a huge rally at Indira Park in Hyderabad on Monday to protest against the alleged dictatorial attitude of K. Chandrashekar Rao-led state government in crushing their strike.
"As it is there are less than 1,200 employees in the RTC," KCR said on Sunday.
Different employees' and workers' unions of the TSRTC began an indefinite strike on Friday midnight across Telangana on a call given by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the corporation, demanding merger of the RTC with the government, job security and recruitment to various posts, among other things.
The neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh had recently merged the state’s transport department with the government and further increased the retirement age to sixty years.
The group of unions have submitted 26 demands including an increase in pay scale. Other demands include RTC being exempted from taxes, child care holidays for women employees, purchase of new buses and removal of hired buses, clearing dues to the corporation owed by the government, and allowing the Corporation to undertake parcel and courier services.
The last time the KCR-led government hiked the salaries of the TRC employees by 44 per cent was in 2015 when the workers demonstrated for their rights.