GUWAHATI: The ASTC (Assam State Transport Corporation) has issued instructions for the signing of a ‘deed of agreement’ with its contractual workers within November 30 this year. The move has, however, caused jitters in the 1,800-strong workforce falling in this category in the Corporation.
The ASTC MD has instructed all superintendents of the Corporation to sign a ‘deed agreement’ with all contractual employees. The instruction was issued on November 14, 2018.
According to the instructions issued by ASTC MD, “The Assam State Road Transport Corporation Employees Service Regulation, 1971has now become obsolete after elapsing of long 48 years since the inception of this corporation, and thereby formulation of a new service regulation is the urgent need of time in the present era of information technology. For the purposes it has been decided to prepare a new human resource policy of the Corporation so that a new service regulation for the Corporation could be drafted out…”
Some contractual employees of the Corporation say that over the years they had the feeling of government employees, despite being employed on a contractual basis. “The issue of renewal of contracts never arose. Our main demand was regularization of the contractual employees. However, the latest move has made us to feel that the management wants us to sign contracts for eleven months, as if to deny us regularization of our posts. It seems that it’s a calculated design to privatize the Corporation,” one of the contractual employees said while talking to this reporter.
Another contractual employee said: “The instructions from the ASTC make it crystal clear that the new human resource policy has not been drafted as yet, let alone placing it before the Board of Directors of the Corporation. How come the MD sets the deadline of November 30, 2018 for the signing of the contract with 1,800 contractual employees? We’ve talked to other organizations that engage employees on contract, but none of them signs deed of agreement with such employees. We demand the MD to rollback his instructions immediately.”
ASTC has 1,800 contractual employees – over 1,200 drivers and approximately 600 others, including assistant engineers (mechanical), junior engineers (civil), foreman, office assistants, computer assistants, mechanics, part-time office assistants, fixed pay LDAs, pump man, chowkidar and others. The deed of agreement, according to the instructions, is to be effective from fiscal 2019-20, and the agreement has to be signed by November 30, 2018.
Apart from the 1,800 contractual employees, the Corporation has 1,414 regular employees.
Also Read: Top Headlines