Declare RTC strike illegal: RTC MD

Mon 18 Nov 2019, 13:01:27
The TSRTC management has summarily rejected the announcement of the RTC JAC about dropping the demand of ‘merger temporarily’ and reasoned that the ‘merger demand’ could be raised any time in future ‘to possibly destabilise the State once again”.

The management’s response to the JAC statement on merger demand being set aside temporarily came in a supplementary affidavit filed by the TSRTC managing director Sunil Sharma before the Telangana High Court bench on Friday.

The 12-page affidavit puts forth the reasons why the strike should be declared illegal by the court. In the affidavit, the TSRTC MD argued that the continuing strike made things so difficult for the corporation that even if the employees were to resume duties voluntarily, it would be difficult for it to take a decision to continue them in jobs. Urging the court to declare the strike ‘illegal’ expeditiously, the corporation held that “union leaders acted in haste and they appear to have been actuated by an oblique motive of destabilising the government with the connivance of the opposition parties”.

Asserting that it was only due to the adamant and egoistic nature of a few union leaders, the entire work staff of TSRTC was put to untold hardships, the affidavit said, adding that the unions through its leaders and leaders of rival political parties were ‘threatening, intimidating and trying to terrorise the authority”. The affidavit told the court that an atmosphere of general indiscipline and insubordination was created. The government was made a target and abuses were hurled against the government through provocative and inflammatory speeches. 

The situation seems to be spiralling out of control and immediate firm action is necessary,” the affidavit added. Pointing out that the TSRTC unions had compounded the already fragile financial condition of the corporation, the RTC chief drew the attention of the court to financial demands running into thousands of crores made by different statutory authorities, which had further complicated the situation. The Corporation MD alleged that the strike was being used as a tool for “welfare” of a few union leaders to enhance their own influence.

Sunil Sharma stated the unions served strike notice on September 11 and went on strike from October 5, in violation of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. He said they launched the strike, without fulfilling mandatory notice period of six weeks and even as the conciliation process was being initiated by the Conciliation Officer. He pointed out that the State government declared the motor transport industry in the State as a public utility service for a period of six months with effect from August 23, and strikes and lockouts were prohibited in public utility services.

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