Without PF, gratuity and other benefits, they demand govt to allocate money in budget to settle their dues
“In no other government departments or corporation, the employee’s retirement benefits are withheld. On the day of retirement, I was given a relieving order along with a wristwatch, a shirt, a dhoti and half a kilogram of sweet box on a silver plate,” Balakrishnan, who is the president of Government Transport Employees Union affiliated to CITU told DT Next.
C Meganathan who retired on April 30 as checking inspector after completing 23 years of service said that they were not even given the accounts of the amount due including provident fund, gratuity, earning leave, commuted pensions and other arrears from the management. “We have no idea what the exact due amount would be,” he said.
If this is the situation for the retired employees, then the situation is worse in the case of those employees who died while in the service. “Ravi, a driver, attached to the Tondiarpet depot, passed away in November 2018. His family comprising his wife and two daughters were not given any benefits. As per service rules, the family should have been paid Rs two lakh in addition to all other benefits like PF and gratuity. But the family was given a mere Rs 6,000,” said MV Ramamoorthy, vice president of Netaji Transport Workers Union.
According to Ramamoorthy, since April 2018, 600 MTC employees who retired from their services were not given any cash benefits at the time of retirement. “Not only the MTC, all other transport corporations in the State also defaulted on paying the retirement benefits. After the strike conducted by the employees of all transport corporations last year, the retired employees who did not get their dues for several years got their benefits. But those retired after April last year were not given their benefits,” he said.
“Given the huge number of dues including dearness allowance, gratuity, commuted pensions and other arrears, the main demand is that the government must set aside money in the budget for this purpose and all dues must be cleared at once,” he said.
A senior MTC official said that all those eligible employees would be getting their pensions immediately after the retirement. The official said that the settlement of the dues was pending because of the dire financial situation of the MTC. “We are trying our best to settle the dues for the retired employees as soon as possible,” the official said.
On the one hand, workers who are currently employed are being denied a fair wage hike and dues while on the other, pensioners who have put in decades of service are receiving a pittance for a pension and are constantly struggling to get their dues at the time of retirement.