KSRTC has issued orders for the mass dismissal of 3861 empanelled conductors with immediate effect. The dismissal orders, dated December 16 and based on a High Court verdict on December 6, has been sent to all KSRTC depots where empanelled conductors work. The vacant posts will now be filled by those who have already been furnished advice memos by the PSC.
KSRTC chairman and managing director Tomin J Thachankary, while talking to ousted empanelled workers here on Monday, reassured them and said that this was only a temporary measure. “It is not the government's policy to do away with empanelled workers. The Corporation is doing its best to ensure that you would be called back,” Thachankary said, and added: “If need be, we will go to the Supreme Court against this.”
Transport Minister A K Saseendran said that services in Malabar region would be adversely affected by the decision. He said that the decision would further aggravate the woes of a cash-strapped KSRTC. The minister said that the government would try to convince the court of the severe stress permanent employees would impose on KSRTC. He also said that the government was not in a position to rehabilitate the empanelled workers who had lost their jobs.
The High Court had on December 6 ordered the retrenchment of empanelled workers within a week to make way for those who had secured advice memos from the PSC. “As per the 2013 May 5 rank list, openings have been reported to the PSC. Hence empanelled conductors cannot continue in their job. Action should be taken within one week or else it will be treated as contempt of court,” the court had said in the order.
However, when the court took up the issue on Monday, the Corporation was severely criticised for not issuing the necessary orders. The court had set December 17, Monday, as the deadline for executing its order. The court said that the KSRTC management was trying to fool the public and warned that it was well within its rights to remove those in high positions in the Corporation. The KSRTC MD has also been asked to file an affidavit on December 18 testifying that not a single empanelled conductor was working in KSRTC.
It was on May 9, 2013, that the PSC published the reserve conductor rank list. In the first phase, 9,300 candidates were served an advice memo. Of this 3,808 were soon sent appointment orders. The remaining 5492 had to keep waiting for over three years before a large number of them received advice memos. In the second allotment, 4051 were sent advice memos. When none of them received an appointment order, some of the candidates in the list approached the High Court.