The COVID pandemic has taken a toll on various work sector. With financial crunch reeling over, The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has laid off 6,270 contract employees citing financial crisis due to Covid-19 lockdown.
It said that the management through oral orders had asked the contract workers not to report for duties. The depot managers were directed to utilise the services of only outsourcing staff. There are 52,000 regular employees in the corporation.
The employees’ union has appealed to Transport Minister Perni Nani to reconsider the orders to lay off the contract employees. The union leaders pointed out that the central government has issued clear instructions that there should be no lay-offs in government or private organizations during the lockdown.
They recalled that the state government too had assured in the past that the contract workers will not be removed from service. As many as 6,270 contract workers are rendering their services in APSRTC head office in Vijayawada, offices of the regional managers, bus depots, workshops and hospitals. Majority of them are sweepers, attenders and grade-4 employees.
“We were demanding that the 7,800 regular vacancies be filled to ease the workload on existing staff. The management took this drastic decision to axe the contract workers,” said employees’ union general secretary P Damodara Rao. The employees’ union said the contract workers were not even paid salaries for the month of April.