Kochi: The Kerala high court on Monday rejected the plea of empanelled employees who were terminated from Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). The court directed that Public Service Commission (PSC) should fill the vacancies in the KSRTC.

The loss-incurring corporation had recently terminated 3,872 empanelled (temporary) bus conductors following a directive from the high court.

On December 24, the temporary employees of KSRTC staged a long march to the secretariat, protesting the state government’s decision to terminate their services. As many as 3,872 families were left in an economic struggle due to the sudden termination of employees.

The dismissed employees told the media they were not given any prior notice before their services were terminated. They alleged that they had been working for over 10 years and the KSRTC was their only source of livelihood. They also said they could not apply for new jobs since many of them were older than the qualifying age.

Earlier, the court observed that keeping empanelled employees would be a challenge for those who have passed the written test to become KSRTC employees.

Meanwhile, following the removal of Tomin J Thachankary as KSRTC managing director, union leaders seem to have taken control of KSRTC affairs once again. It is also alleged that the situation of KSRTC has worsened further.

On Saturday, a driver employed under this system was forced off the bus by union leaders. Jino, who is known for being a driver-cum-conductor, was travelling on the Thiruvananthapuram-Palakkad route when he was stopped by union leaders and had to face their wrath. Though he was just a driver in this route, the leaders forced him off the bus and had him replaced by another employee.

KSRTC staff alleged that trade unions have been engaged in prohibiting driver-cum-conductor employees from working since last week.