Talks fail, bus strike hits public in Telangana

Panel needs 3 weeks to find solution

Hyderabad: Fresh talks between the RTC management, state governments and the unions failed once again on Sunday.

The RTC strike is set to enter its sixth day in defiance of the court order to withdraw the strike, without any breakthrough as unions remain steadfast on their demand for a 43 per cent hike.

The union leaders have been invited for another round of talks with the Cabinet sub-committee at 11.30 am on Monday. The AP Cabinet sub-committee sought three weeks to settle their issues while the union leaders refused to oblige.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao stepped in to resolve the ongoing indefinite strike and reviewed the issue on Sunday.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao constituted a Cabinet sub-committee headed by home and labour minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy, finance minister Etela Rajender and transport minister P. Mahender Reddy to hold talks with RTC unions and recommend measures for the government to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, around 62 per cent buses in AP and 37 per cent buses in TS were operated on Sunday. Authorities were hopeful of a sizeable number of employees joining duty over the next 24 to 36 hours.

In the wake of the High Court declaring the strike by APSRTC employees as illegal, the employees’ union has decided to file an affidavit in the court on May 12, explaining its stand on the issue.

The RTC Employees’ AP Union general secretary K. Padmakar said that the union would explain to the court about the circumstances under which they had decided to go on the indefinite strike.

Meanwhile, representatives of Telangana Mazdoor Union and Employees’ Union called on Mr Rajender and Mr Narasimha Reddy, seeking a resolution of their problems. TMU president Mr Ashwathama Reddy complained about the attitude of RTC Managing Director Mr N. Sambasiva Rao.

Speaking to reporters, AP Transport Minister Mr Sidda Raghava Rao and Labour Minister Mr K. Atchan Naidu, Special Chief Secretary (R&B) Mr Sam Bob and RTC Managing Director Mr N. Sambasiva Rao said since this was the first meeting of the sub-committee with the RTC union leaders, it had sought three weeks to study the issue and find an amicable solution.

“We need some time to study the issue. Whatever decision we will take will be in the interest of the RTC staff,” Mr Atchan Naidu said. Expressing satisfaction over the discussion the panel had with the RTC union leaders, the Labour minister said the union leaders had sought two days to discuss the issues with other union leaders.

“We have asked them to withdraw the strike till the panel takes a decision on the issue. They told us that they would let us know in two days about their decision,” he said.

( Source : dc correspondent )
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