Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Friday directed the management of the TSRTC to invite RTC employees and workers’ unions and the RTC Telangana Mazdoor Union for negotiations as the RTC workers unions were not stressing on the merger of RTC into the government as a pre-requisite to enter into dialogue.
A High Court bench asked the RTC management to enter into talks as expeditiously as possible to resolve the disputes and build confidence between the corporation and unions.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Raghuvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy was dealing with public interest litigations concerning common people’s plight during the RTC workers strike. The petitions challenged the extension of Dasara vacation to educational institutes in view of disruption of public transportation across the state.
The HC bench asked the RTC MD and the workers’ unions to keep in mind the agony of common people, and told both parties that they should negotiate to resolve all issues amicably as soon as possible and inform the court about the result of the negotiations by October 28. The bench observed that out of the 45 demands made by RTC workers, 20 demands would not put any financial burden on the RTC.
The bench found fault in the submission of J. Ram-achandra Rao, additional advocate general, appearing for the RTC, that once conciliation proceedings have ended between the RTC and unions, the issue has to be settled before the Labour Court.
Govt bound by Constitution: CJ
Additional Advocate General J. Ramachandra Rao also argued that there was no space for further talks, which the bench dismissed, saying that such a contention was misplaced.
Chief Justice Raghuvendra Singh Chauhan said, “the corporation is nothing but an instrumentality of the state government. Therefore, it is bound by the provisions of the Constitution. We are well aware that we are living in a socialist and democratic set-up, and it is the duty of the state to resolve issues faced by its people.”
At this juncture, the bench reminded the government’s representative that a people’s revolution against a Philippine ruler, who felt that he was most powerful one and no one can touch him, was dethroned within one year.
The CJ said, “we are concerned about the state. The fire is at an early stage. It has to be stopped before it spreads to other associations of government emp-loyees and trade unions as they are also saying that they would go on strike.”
When the AAG replied that the state was firm about tackling the issues, the bench retorted, when the state can’t handle this small issue which is boiling for last two weeks, how can you tackle a major issue, if it arises?
The CJ said, “the government’s attitude seems to be persistent and compact. If it continues to persist, if not today, tomorrow, it will boomerang”,
The AAG said the financial position of the TSRTC was in the doldrums and at this juncture, the demands of trade unions cannot be acceded to. He said the unions were politicising this issue and were hell bent on getting their foremost demand of RTC merger met. The AAG said the RTC felt the appointment of a full-time managing director was not necessary at this stage as the in-charge head was well versed with the affairs of the corporation.
D. Prakash Reddy, representing the unions, said he had informed the advocate general and the AAG that unions were ready for talks. He submitted that the demand of merging the RTC with the government was first raised in 2013. The government of undivided Andhra Pradesh had constituted a committee to examine the issue and had issued a government order....