After RTC drivers, 108 workers to go on strike

Unions are demanding the reappointment of employees who were suspended in 2013

Hyderabad: After the RTC, now even 108 emergency services employees are set to go on strike from Thursday midnight seeking government takeover of the services. Unions are demanding the reappointment of employees who were suspended in 2013 and complete takeover of the emergency services by the government.

Union leaders said they have not yet been called for talks by the GVK EMRI management in spite of serving the strike notice. According to the employees unions, the GVK EMRI management had called an unrecognised union for talks and chose to ignore the majority employees’ union. Employees say that they want the government to recognise them as state government employees on par with that of other departments.

“We don’t want any PRC or pay hikes or even Telangana incentives. But the government should take over the emergency 108 services and recognise us on par with other government employees. All those employees who were suspended after the strike of 2013 should also be taken back,” said Mahender Reddy, president of the 108 Emergency Services Employees’ Welfare Association, said.

The emergency services would go off from Thursday night, but employees unions said any talks with the management would be held only under the leadership of TJAC Convenor Prof. Kodandaram. Employees said he had agreed to negotiate on their behalf, but the management hasn’t yet called a meeting.

Students writing exams worst hit:

APSRTC vice-chairman and managing director N. Sambasiva Rao said that May 14 was the deadline for completing the bifurcation of the corporation but its financial health did not allow for a 43 per cent fitment.

As students account for 60 per cent of the RTC passengers in the city, they were the most affected, especially as universities were currently having examinations. There were huge crowds of train passengers at Nampally, Kacheguda and Secunderabad stations, trying to find alternatives to the buses.

“We reached here one-and-a-half hours back but are unable to find an alternative to reach Dilsukhnagar. Autorickshaws as it is are costly affairs and today they are demanding even higher rates. We cannot afford to pay '500-'600 to reach there,” said a Mr Sailu M, a worker in the city who reached the Kacheguda station with his family at around noon.

While most long-distance buses had remained off the roads from Tuesday evening itself, by Wednesday morning, majority of the bus depots in both the states were shut. In the twin cities, Uppal, Kushaiguda, Kukatpally, Musheerabad, Miyapur, Picket, Dilsukhnagar, Hayatnagar and Kanchanbagh depots remained completely closed till evening.

There were 130 buses stranded at the DSNR Depot, 166 at Hakimpet, 172 at Jeedimetla and 700 buses at various other depots in the city. The authorities tried to utilise trainee drivers and those identified by local RTA authorities by testing their driving skills. By mid-day, around 100 drivers were tested by the authorities in Telangana.

But in all the districts, RTA authorities could arrange for only 650 private drivers and 750 private bus conductors. Meanwhile, 24 additional coaches of various classes have been attached to several popular trains originating from the twin cities on Wednesday, providing 1,600 additional berths.

The AP government conducted a meeting to review the transport situation in view of the strike. SCR’s chief passenger traffic manager Siva Prasad attended this meeting to apprise special efforts being made to clear the extra rush of passengers.

( Source : dc correspondent )
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