Travellers in the twin cities had a bitter taste of the RTC strike. RTC fleet of 19,000 buses wase off the roads in both the States. They were confined to the depots. Meanwhile, the auto men had a field day. Workers’ unions in both the States called the strike following their talks with the two governments failed. RTC managing director assured to run the buses employing private men but the situation did not change a wee bit as citizens continued to suffer. It took the citizens for a costly ride. The office-going staff reeled under the impact of the RTC agitation. They were forced to take whatever mode of transport to reach their destination.
43 PERCENT FITMENT
Employees’ unions vehemently demanded 43 percent fitment which was given to State Government staff. But the government was ready to provide only 33 percent fitment. Even then a burden of Rs 450 crore would fall on government. Union leaders were adamant and stuck to their stand despite ministers from AP and TS tried to persuade them and come to terms considering public convenience. First time after bifurcation of united AP, TSRTC leaders were firm on realising their demands. Talks were held in secretariat. After talks with TS minister Mahender Reddy failed, the scene shifted to the chambers of Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy.
The Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao entrusted the task to Nayani, who tried to convince the leaders that a ministers’ sub-committee would be appointed to discuss the issue provided they gave up the strike. But union leaders turned down the offer and decided to go ahead with the stir. Mahender informed that daily expenditure in RTC was Rs 10 crore while the income was Rs 9 crore. He also said that they would take steps to avoid inconvenience to the public on account of strike. On the other union leaders made clear that it was improper to avoid the desired fitment while their counterparts in government were sanctioned. They also said that stir would continue.