In 2019, the employees staged a strike for 55 days and the issue was resolved in November that year, when Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao agreed to the demands of the agitating employees. (DC file photo)
HYDERABAD: Employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) are demanding the reintroduction of workers’ unions which were banned in 2019. The unions were replaced by the Employee Welfare Board (EWB), which is allegedly not capable of presenting the workers’ grievances to the management.
RTC employees alleged that the EWB was not able to solve the issues faced by the workers for the past two years of its existence. The EWB members were working on the directions of the management, and the voice of employees was muted, they alleged. Presently, the employees were forced to work for extra hours, they said, adding that the benefits of the Employees Act which were applicable for all RTC workers were not given to the employees.
In 2019, the employees staged a strike for 55 days and the issue was resolved in November that year, when Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao agreed to the demands of the agitating employees. A special revenue package was given for the revival of this loss-incurring organisation, they said and added that meanwhile the government imposed suspension of unions, and replaced them with the Employee Welfare Board. The corporation with a workforce of around 49,000 employees was left with no unions now, they felt.
Maramreddy Thomas Reddy, general secretary of RTC Telangana Mazdoor Union said, "The EWB has no sanctity. Those appointed as office bearers are working on the directions of the management, not for the welfare of employees. The employees are being harassed by the heads, but no grievance has been registered. Employees are forced to work for extra hours, a clear case of exploitation of work."
"According to the Motor Transport Workers Act, eight hours of work should be assigned to employees, and between each shift, 9-hour rest is mandatory. These acts are side-lined now. If any member questions, the heads are threatening the employees with suspension," he said.
"We have been urging the government for the past two years to address the issue as the EWB has proved not useful for employees. The unions should be brought back," he added.
N. Kamalakar Goud, president, RTC, TMU, said, "The Chief Minister promised that our pay scales would be better than the state government employees, but we have been denied two PRCs, and DAs are pending."