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Telangana Cabinet to Discuss Transport Strike Issue on Thursday, May Offer VRS to Employees

The voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) may be offered to about 20,000 workers, while some staff may be accommodated in other departments, said sources.

Venkatesh Hakimpet | News18

Updated:November 27, 2019, 9:21 PM IST
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Telangana Cabinet to Discuss Transport Strike Issue on Thursday, May Offer VRS to Employees
Representative image.

Hyderabad: The Telangana Cabinet will on Thursday discuss steps to end the impasse over the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) employees strike issue, among others.

"The state cabinet meeting will be held here at Pragati Bhavan on November 28 at 2pm. There is a possibility that the meeting may extend to Friday," a release from the Chief Minister's office said. The cabinet meeting will "discuss at length the measures to be taken to end the RTC impasse in the state," it said.

Sources said the government is thinking of offering a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) to the employees. The scheme may be offered to about 20,000 workers, while some staff may be accommodated in other departments.

Over 48,000 employees of the TSRTC had called off their 52-day-long strike on November 25 and expressed their readiness to rejoin duty. However, the TSRTC management had said they could not allow them to rejoin duty as the matter was pending before the labour commissioner as per the directives of High Court.

Consequently, employees who turned up for work on Tuesday and also on Wednesday, were turned away by officials and police.

On November 22, the Telangana High Court had dismissed a petition, challenging the state cabinet decision to privatise over 5,000 bus routes. The scheme may be offered to about 20,000 workers, while some staff may be accommodated in other departments.

The court, while dismissing the petition challenging the cabinet's November 2 decision to privatise permits of 5,100 bus routes, had said the state government is empowered to take a decision on the matter.

On November 18, it had directed the Commissioner of Labour to decide whether the strike should be referred to the Labour Court or not, in two weeks to decide the legality of the stir.

Meanwhile, state BJP president K Laxman said in Delhi on Wednesday that Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari spoke to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on the RTC issue. BJP and Congress MPs from Telangana had met Gadkari separately and sought the Centre's intervention in the matter.

The TSRTC employees, who began their strike on October 5, withdrew their stir though they did not get any positive response from either the RTC management or state government on their demands.

The unions’ Joint Action Committee leader Aswathama Reddy had said their decision to withdraw the stir was taken to halt alleged attempts by the government to "privatise RTC".

The management had said it was not possible to take back the workers until the process prescribed by the high court was concluded. The government had earlier said the RTC was not in a position to accept the employees' demands as the Corporation has been running at a loss.

The RTC employees had begun their strike with various demands, including merger of the corporation with the government and recruitment to various posts. However, they subsequently announced that they were ready to put off their merger demand.

(With inputs from PTI)

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