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TNSTC sitting on retirement benefits of nearly 1,000 employees

Umapathi is not an isolated case. There are 1,000 employees who took VRS and those who died while in service who have not received their terminal benefits, EPF, gratuity, VRS compensation and other benefits since May 2020.

TNSTC sitting on retirement benefits of nearly 1,000 employees
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Retired staff at a protest recently

It was in September 2020 that N Umapathi, working with Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, Coimbatore, decided to call it quits.

He had completed 27 years of service, but with health not in his favour, he opted for voluntary retirement. Cut to March 2022, Umapathi is yet to receive the settlement of his terminal benefits, including Provident Fund and gratuity.

Umapathi is not an isolated case. There are 1,000 employees who took VRS and those who died while in service who have not received their terminal benefits, EPF, gratuity, VRS compensation and other benefits since May 2020.

For the last 17 months, Umapathi has been running from pillar to post to get his dues from the transport corporation, but in vain. He has been facing severe financial crisis ever since his parents were admitted to a private hospital for COVID-19.

“I paid a hospital bill of Rs 4.5 lakh, after taking a loan and pledging jewellery,” he recalled. “With a pension of Rs 15,000 a month, it’s impossible to meet all monthly expenses and repay the loan or interest.”

L Ravichandran, another technical staff who took VRS in May 2020, said officials of TNSTC Coimbatore have refused to meet them. “We are not asking for anything extra, but the money deducted from our salary as PF, social security and gratuity, or the VRS compensation that we’re entitled to,” he averred.

Keerthana, daughter of late P Sreedharan, said her father was a senior technician at TNSTC Coimbatore when he passed away in October 2020 due to COVID-19. “Till date, officials have not revealed his actual terminal benefits. My mother has been visiting various offices of the corporation and taking part in protests seeking the release of terminal benefits, but nothing has materialised yet,” she said.

Soures in the transport corporation said a proposal has been sent to the government to release funds. “We expect this to materialise after the Budget Session of the assembly,” sources said.

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Sneha Sree
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