Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court appealed to the state government on Monday to consider the plight of over 48,000 families of protesting RTC workers if they are left to fend for themselves, saying the number of affected persons will run into lakhs.

Many of the workers are past their prime and won’t be able to find work outside, particularly when the job market is under severe pressure. Cautioning that it is not an issue just between the management and workers, the HC made it clear that it was leaving this aspect to the wisdom of the state government and RTC. 

A division bench of Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy made these remarks as they heard a few public interest litigations (PIL) on the ongoing RTC strike. The Bench remarked that when a worker goes on strike, it is usually for improving their situation at the workplace. It cannot be understood that they have gone on strike in order to leave their jobs, said the HC. 

The judges counselled the government to behave like a model employer and deal with the issue sympathetically and with a large heart. 

The bench stated that the Conciliation Officer cannot decide whether the ongoing strike in RTC is illegal or not. It has to be decided by the Labour court only, said the HC. The Conciliation Officer can only inform the government about the success or failure of conciliation proceedings. 

The court directed the government to take a decision within two weeks on the Conciliation report submitted by the officer and whether to refer the dispute to Labour court as per Section 12(4) of Industrial Disputes Act.

The bench refused to declare the ongoing strike as illegal as sought by a petitioner. It also said that talks must be held in a conducive atmosphere and in a free and frank manner, not under the orders of the court. 

Today, the HC will hear the case about granting of 5,100 permits to private parties.

 

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