The employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) are on the indefinite strike. Though the timing (festival season) for the strike by the RTC employees is not justified as it is causing severe inconvenience to the people, this is one of the strategical move by the trade unions to mount pressure on the government and get their demands accepted. The timing is, thus, strategically selected by the trade unions to go on strike, even in the private sector.
Coming back to the TSRTC, most of their demands are reasonable and justified, except the core demand of the merger of the RTC with the government, as being done by the neigbouring Andhra Pradesh. In AP, the government is making its moves fast to merge the RTC with the government and create Public Transport Department (PTD) to operate the bus services after the merger.
There is no rule that TS should also follow the same formula and merge the RTC with the government. Several other States have separate corporations for the public transport. Thus, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is justified in his stand, not to merge the RTC with the government. He might reject this demand but can address the other issues by calling them for talks across the table.
His approach to the RTC employees is unjustified. It was the RTC employees who made him the father of Telangana. It was the RTC employees strike that brought the undivided State into a halt forcing the UPA leadership to bifurcate the State and give Telangana State. KCR is the chief minister of the new state, because of the RTC employees, besides others, and he cannot ignore them for any reason.
He is not justified in his adamant approach to the RTC employees. His orders terminating over 45,000 RTC employees who are on strike, does not stand before the law on any grounds. People across the State are suffering because of the strike, and it is high time that he should end the stalemate.