There was no breakthrough in the ongoing TSRTC strike which entered the 22nd day, though the TSRTC Joint Action Committee (JAC) and the RTC management sat across the table to thrash out issues on Saturday.
The parleys, however, failed to make any headway and JAC convenor E Ashwathama Reddy declared that the strike would continue.
TSRTC Managing Director Sunil Sharma, who interacted with mediapersons later, said the management wanted to discuss the demands as per the directions of the High Court but the JAC leaders insisted on discussing all the 26 demands, including the merger of RTC with the government.
The RTC management was represented by the Executive Directors and the meeting took place in the Errum Manzil office of the Irrigation department. That the underlying and palpable unfriendliness between the management and unions continued to persist was evident when the JAC leaders complained that the management did not appear to be ready for holding talks.
Speaking to the media after the discussions, Reddy alleged the management did not discuss any of the JAC’s demands and that it appeared as if it was unwilling for talks. The JAC also took objection to the mobile phones of its leaders being taken away before they were invited into the meeting hall for discussions.
“We never faced this type of situation,” he said. The JAC leaders also alleged that a senior police officer of the rank of DCP was present at the meeting hall.
The JAC maintained that the management had tried to pressure them into calling off the strike. “How can they ask us to call off the strike without fulfilling our demands?” Reddy asked. The leaders were of the view that Saturday’s talks were only meant to obey the court orders. The entire proceedings were videographed too.
The JAC leaders said they would be submitting memoranda to all the district Collectors on Monday and that a ‘Sakala Janula Samme’ protest will be organised here on October 30.
“We clearly told them that we cannot discuss the merger issue and clarified that we will go by the court directions only,” Sunil Sharma said. The JAC leaders informed that they would discuss it with other leaders and come back again for talks.
Court hearing on Monday
“We waited for JAC leaders but they did not turn up,” Sharma said. Both the RTC management and the JAC leaders decided to submit their version before the court which will hear the case on October 28.
“We are open to talks and we will wait for invitation from the management,” a JAC leader said, adding that the management insisted that it would discuss only 21 demands ignoring the key demands raised by the JAC.