Bus employees continue strike for sixth day in Andhra, Telangana
news Monday, May 11, 2015 - 05:30
There was no respite for commuters in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh as state-owned buses remained off the roads in both the states for the sixth day on Monday. No end to the strike by the employees of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) was in sight as they refused to budge from their demand for 43 percent hike in salaries. The talks held by the governments of both the states with the leaders of striking employees on Sunday failed to break the impasse. Over one lakh employees of APSRTC continued their strike defying May 9 orders of Hyderabad High Court, which termed the strike illegal and asked the employees to call it off immediately. As the court is to take up further hearing of two PILs against the strike on Tuesday, the employees unions decided to represent their case and justify the demand for hike in wages. Cabinet sub-committees of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Sunday held talks with leaders of striking employees in their respective states. While the governments urged the employees to accept 27 percent hike offered by the APSRTC management, the unions refused to agree for anything less than 43 percent hike. Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting. He asked the sub-committee to keep in mind the interests of both APSRTC and the employees while taking a decision to end the impasse. The striking employees staged protests at depots. At some places, they cooked on the roads and also organized 'Swacch Bharat' programme to lodge protest over what they call indifferent attitude of the management. APSRTC, which is running into losses, is using the services of contract employees to operate few services. Majority of nearly 20,000 buses remained off the roads, causing severe inconvenience to people.