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HC Says Can't Intervene In RTC Strike; Refers Case To Labour Commissioner

The Telangana High Court directed the Labour Commissioner to take a decision on whether the ongoing bus strike was legal or not within two weeks.
Hyderabad | 18th November 2019
The hearing on the ongoing strike by the Telangana State RTC employees concluded in the Hyderabad High Court on Monday with the court directing the Labour Commissioner to take a decision on the ongoing strike within two weeks.

The court also made it clear that the Labour Commissioner alone had the authority to decide whether the strike was legal or illegal.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Abhishek Reddy pointed out that the court too had its own limitations in dealing with the issue, and that it could not rule that the RTC crew strike was illegal.

They also observed that they could not pressurize the State government to hold talks with the JAC leaders. The parleys should be held between two parties sitting across the table voluntarily, the bench said.

Earlier, Additional Advocate-General Ramachander Rao submitted to the court that the RTC management could not concede the demands of the striking RTC employees as the corporation's financial condition was very bad, especially now after it had lost 44% of its annual revenue due to the strike.

He told the court that the State government had extended the maximum possible assistance financially to the corporation as it was engulfed in huge losses, but could not meet the current financial demands of the employees.

He also argued that the employees unions' JAC did not follow the rules and went on a lightning strike which was illegal as per Section 22(1)A of the Industrial Disputes Act as the JAC leaders did not serve notice on the management before resorting to the strike.

The AAG further argued that even if the JAC leaders dropped their main demand temporarily, they might rake up the issue once again at any time, as some JAC leaders were pushing the corporation into losses for their own selfish interests.

He also submitted to the court that some employees unions' leaders had joined hands with some leaders of some Opposition parties with an intention to destabilize the government.

Advocate Jayaprakash Reddy, representing the TSRTC employee unions' JAC, submitted to the court that the striking crew was ready to call off the strike and resume duties, but the RTC MD, in his affidavit, had told the court that the management was not willing to take back the employees. He pleaded with the court to direct the management and the State government to allow the crew to resume their duties.

Meanwhile, the strike entered the 45th day today.
filed in:  Telangana, Courts, Legal, High Court, Telangana High Court, TSRTC, Buses, Strikes, Bus Strike
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