Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Wednesday directed the state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) to pay salaries for September to all the employees by October 21. The court passed the orders on a petition by one of the employees complaining that the TSRTC has not paid salaries to all 49,190 employees for September, though their indefinite strike began on October 5. The TSRTC management submitted in the court that there was a delay in the payment of the salaries due to the strike. It said since the employees are not attending duties due to the strike, payment of salaries would be difficult. It, however, assured the court that the employees will be paid the salaries by Monday.
Meanwhile, the strike by the TSRTC employees entered the 12th day on Wednesday. Despite the High Court on Tuesday asking both the government and striking employees to begin talks, there were no signs of any steps to break the impasse.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the striking employees found fault with the government. JAC leader Ashwathama Reddy said they were yet to receive any invite from the government or the TSRTC for the talks.
He alleged that the government is playing mind games in the name of talks.
The JAC, comprising various employee unions, said the strike was continuing and they were receiving the support of workers from various parts of the country.
Ashwathama Reddy said political parties, trade unions and employees' groups have declared support for the JAC's call for a Telangana shutdown on October 19. He said their protest would continue till the government accepts all the justified demands of the employees.
The employees are on strike with a charter of 26 demands, the main demand being the TSRTC's merger with the government.
Taking a tough stand against the strike, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao termed it illegal and ruled out any talks with the striking employees.
He also announced that over 48,000 employees dismissed themselves by not joining duties before the expiry of the deadline.
The strike took a serious turn on Monday when two employees committed suicide. The continuing strike forced the government to extend the Dasara holidays for educational institutions till October 19.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), the HC on Tuesday asked the government to take the initiative for talks. It also asked the employees to call off the strike and come forward for talks with the government to resolve the issue.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister P. Ajay directed the TSRTC authorities to ensure that 100 per cent buses are operated. At a meeting with TSRTC officials on Wednesday, he said since educational institutions will be re-opening on October 21, they should completely restore normalcy.