Talks fail, Mahender asks TMU to drop stir plan

Talks between the State government and trade unions with regard to TSRTC strike call failed to get any breakthrough as the both parties stuck to their guns.

Transport Minister P Mahender Reddy, who held talks with the TMU leaders urged the latter to cancel their strike as they cannot take public for a ride. Denying the reports of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao warning of serious action, Mahender Reddy said the RTC was incurring Rs 700 crore losses and paying Rs 250 crore interest on the losses. As wage hike will put an additional burden of Rs 1,400 crore on the Corporation, the union leaders should rethink on their strike plan, he said, adding that the proposed strike will paralyse the transportation of 4.5 crore people across the State and trade unions should cancel it and the government was ready to hold further talks. He also appealed to the latter to make joint efforts to overcome the losses through conducting a study in other States.

TMU president Ashwathama Reddy said the trade unions will not cancel their strike plan. Since statehood fight, the RTC was suffering losses and the government should bear and offer wage hike, he argued. “It is for the government to hold elections or not for the RTC and we are against it”, Mahender Reddy said.

TSRTC Chairman S Satyanarayana, Managing Director Ramana Rao and Transport Department Principal Secretary Samir Sharma and other officials attended the meeting held in the Secretariat on Friday. The meeting assumes significance as Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao warned last night that the RTC was incurring huge losses and cannot concede their demand of wage hike. He had also warned sacking of the employees for participating in the strike. (NSS)