The Telangana government under Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has sacked around 48,000 employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) who defied the directions of the government to end their protest over the last three days and return to work. In a sweeping order, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday termed the indefinite strike by staff of TSRTC as an "unpardonable crime" and sacked them.
The state government had set 6 PM on Saturday as the deadline for the agitating employees to resume duty. However, their failure to return to duty forced the state government to initiate action against them.
Ruling out any negotiation with the sacked staff, the CM said, "It is an unpardonable crime that they went on a strike during the festive season and at a time when the TSRTC was incurring a huge loss of Rs 1,200 crore and its debt burden had gone up to Rs 5,000 crore."
The TSRTC employees were on an indefinite strike since Friday. The strike call was given by the Joint Action Committee of TSRTC. The agitating employees are demanding merger of RTC with the government and recruitment to various posts, among other things.
During the last three days, buses didn’t ply on roads, causing trouble to common people during the festivities. On Sunday, the CM said that employees who did not join duty before the deadline will not be taken back.
Meanwhile, Telangana Mazdoor Union president E Ashwathama Reddy said that the agitating workers have not received any dismissal or suspension notice from the government or the management of TSRTC.
Trade bodies linked to TSRTC said that they will challenge the state government’s decision when they are served with dismissal or suspension notices of their services.
"There are laws in this country. We have been appointed as per rules. They cannot remove us just like that. There are courts. We will approach courts if necessary," Reddy said.