Workers Can't Abstain from Work, Start a Stir and Resume Duty at Will, Says TSRTC MD Sunil Sharma
File photo of thousands of TSRTC employees staging a protest in Hyderabad last month. (Image for representation)
Hyderabad: Employees cannot stop coming to work, start an indefinite strike and then decide to join duty at their will, said the managing director of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC), Sunil Sharma.
When asked about the announcement of transport unions’ Joint Action Committee calling off the nearly two-month strike by workers and resuming duty, Sharma termed the move as ridiculous.
Over 48,000 TSRTC employees went on an indefinite strike on October 5, demanding among other things, merger of the corporation with the state transport department. However, neither the management nor the state government has acceded to any demand of the workers.
Earlier in the day, JAC convenor Aswathama Reddy urged workers to get back to work and reach their depots at 6am on Tuesday irrespective of their shift timings even as he expressed confidence that they would get justice in the labour court and efforts and sacrifices of the last two months would not go in vain.
Reddy said the decision to end the strike after 52 days was taken to halt alleged attempts to 'privatise' the corporation.
“On one hand, the JAC says the employees would continue their agitation, on the other hand, it has asked the workers to resume worker. Nowhere in the country in any public sector undertaking, are workers allowed to abstain and join duties at their fancy. This will never happen be accepted,” Sharma said.
“The employees stopped coming to work on their own and were on an illegal strike. Neither the TSRTC management nor the state government asked them to do so. Their illegal and illogical strike continued during important festivals like Bathukamma, Dussehra and Deepavali and caused immense inconvenience to people,” he added.
Following directives of the high court, the labour commissioner will take a suitable decision on the strike and the management would decide on its next course accordingly, Sharma said, adding everything will be done following legal provisions and till then, everyone should act with restraint.
He said till the process as suggested by the high court is completed, workers who have been protesting since weeks cannot be taken back to work. He asked the TSRTC workers to not go to the depots on Tuesday and create law and order issues and requested the workers not to obstruct temporary drivers and conductors from attending their duties.
The state government or management would not tolerate anyone breaking the law and stringent action would be initiated against the guilty, the MD added.