Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has laid off 6,270 contract employees citing financial crisis due to COVID-19 lockdown, APSRTC Employees’ Union claimed on Friday. Also Read - Nepal Airport Under Renovation Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

It said that the management through oral orders had asked the contract workers not to report for duties. Also Read - COVID-19 Crisis: ECB Delays Start of Domestic Season Till August But Windies Series in July Likely to go Ahead

The depot managers were directed to utilise the services of only outsourcing staff. There are 52,000 regular employees in the corporation. Also Read - English Premier League 2019-20 to Restart From June 17 After Three-Month Break Due to Coronavirus Pandemic: Report

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.