Around 48,000 employees of the Telangana State Road Transportation Corporation (TSRTC) assembled in front of their respective depots at 6 a.m. on 26 November, 2019. However, they were not allowed to rejoin work and were put in preventive detention by the police.
On Monday, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of TSRTC led by Aswathama Reddy, which is the umbrella organisation of four employee unions, called off the strike and asked all employees to go back to work. The plan was to continue the protest while working.
However, the TSRTC in-charge, Sunil Sharma, refused to allow the workforce to reassemble, stating their agenda to continue the protest while working was ridiculous.
The TSRTC is a state-owned public corporation, which operates autonomously and is responsible for all its profits and maintenance. The demand has been that the corporation cease to exist as an autonomous body and merge with the government, thereby providing them with government benefits.
The decision to go on strike came after several employees complained of long working hours, extra shifts without pay and irregular salaries. Meanwhile, the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh’s chief minister merged the state RTC with the government as a long-pending demand.
On the 5 October, the employees of TSRTC went on strike against the government’s refusal to meet their 26 demands, which included maternity leave for women employees, salary hike due from 2017, alternate employment for differently abled crew and regularisation of casual employees.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has called the agitation illegal and referred to employees’ absence from work as self-dismissal while referring to workers not being allowed to go back to work.