KCR in no mood to talk to TSRTC staff on strike

TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao (File photo)

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is in no mood to hold talks with the unions of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC), who are on strike for over a month now, government sources have said. The Chief Minister, they said, has directed police officers to ensure that private buses being run by the government are not obstructed by the protesting employees and has given them a free hand to arrest anyone causing trouble.

TSRTC Mazdoor Union leader Raji Reddy said the unions have decided not to press for a merger with the state government but want other demands fulfilled. “It is unfortunate that even though we stepped down on our key demand of merger, the Chief Minister is not ready to talk. The strike has been on for 45 days old and no one has got salary. Employees are taking extreme measures, including suicide. Several employees have suffered heart attacks due to stress,’’ Reddy said.

Read | Telangana transport strike: What unions want, why govt is unyielding

The TSRTC Joint Action Committee Monday said at least four employees have committed suicide and three have died of heart attacks.

A CMO official said, “The CM feels the strike is illegal. He has given two opportunities to the employees to resume work, but they did not heed and now he is not inclined to talk.’’

Meanwhile, the Telangana High Court on Monday directed the Labour Commissioner to decide within two weeks whether the issue of protest should be referred to the Labour Court. The High Court was hearing a petition to declare the strike illegal.