The Andhra Pradesh State Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has laid off 6,257 members of its outsourced contract staff and denied their salaries for the month of April. They have been given oral orders not to attend duties by the depot managers. In turn, the depot managers have been given instructions to use RTC drivers and conductors to carry out the duties of the outsourced staff.
The Employees Union of APSRTC has written to the State Transport Minister to reconsider the removal of outsourced contract staff. In the letter, union leaders have said that the Central Government had ordered not to remove outsourced personnel from public and private sector organizations, citing the reason for the lockdown. The Union brought to Minister’s attention that the State Government had earlier promised not to remove outsourced service personnel working in the RTC. They informed that this latest action would negatively affect the livelihood of 6,257 employees and their families.
The City President of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), RSKV Kumar, demanded that the State Government should repeal the order to lay off outsourced and contractual employees in APSRTC. He said that the employees were worried, as the depot managers had ordered them to not attend their duties two days ago. Joining the protest, conducted by APSRTC workers from Maddilapalem and Visakhapatnam One depots, Mr Kumar stated that 6,257 workers have been rendered unemployed while their duties were taken over by the permanent staff.
He further added that these temporary employees play a crucial role in improving APSRTC revenue. “They continue to work with the hope that one day they will be made permanent government employees as APSRTC employees are now considered to be official State Government employees,” he said.
“The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister had promised these workers that he would create a corporation to protect their interests,” the President said. Despite having created the corporation and having brought these workers under its jurisdiction, the president condemns the removal of the temporary workers. If the APSRTC does not provide employment guarantee, he said that the union would conduct statewide protests. Mr Kumar ended the address by stating that union leaders have already written letters to the AP Chief Minister and State Transport Minster regarding this issue.