Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday gave an ‘happy ending’ to the 52-day long strike observed by TSRTC employees.
Addressing a press conference at Pragathi Bhavan after the cabinet meeting held on Thursday, the CM announced to take back all the RTC employees back into jobs ‘unconditionally’.
The CM also announced increase in bus ticket fares by 20 paise per kilometer across all the TSRTC bus services to mobilise funds for the financially ailing corporation. The increased fares will come into effect from Monday.
KCR stated that the RTC will earn over Rs 800 crore per year with the hike in ticket fares.
The CM also announced Rs 100 crore for RTC to pay salaries for staff.
The staff were not paid salaries since September.
Over 48,000 RTC staff went on indefinite strike since October 5. They called off their strike after 52 days on November 25.
The government declared their strike as ‘illegal’ and announced that 48,000 staff lost their jobs due to their participation in the illegal strike.
Though CM gave three opportunities for staff to rejoin duties since the strike began, the staff ignored and continued the strike.
When the RTC unions announced withdrawal of strike on November 25 and announced to rejoin duties from November 26, the government refused to take them back saying that the matter is under the purview of the Labour Court and everyone has to wait till the court give its verdict.
Though several petitions were filed in the High Court over the issue, the HC dismissed all the petitions and referred the issue to the Labour court last week.
In between, KCR announced to privatise the RTC and the cabinet even approved to privatise 5,100 RTC routes.
However, all these decisions have been kept on hold now.
KCR took a ‘dramatic decision’ today restoring the jobs of all the striking staff ‘unconditionally’.
He even promised to give a job to one of family members of RTC staff who died or committed suicide during the strike.
Over 30 deaths were reported across the state during the strike.