Published: Sun, January 07, 2018
Medical | By Josefina Yates

Tamil Nadu bus strike enters Day 3, no respite for passengers

Tamil Nadu bus strike enters Day 3, no respite for passengers

The Tamil Nadu Government appealed to employees of state transport to come back for the work since the Madras High Court rapped the transport union. The striking employees belong to 17 unions.

As the strike entered the second day on Friday crippling operation of the eight transport corporation running about 21,000 buses, the first bench of the High Court headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee ordered the workers to resume work or face the outcome including termination and contempt of court.

Shanmugam said it has been decided that various central trade unions such as CITU and AITUC will stage state-wide protests on January 8 in support of the striking transport workers.

The trade unions had, however, said their agitation would continue till their demands on wage revision were met by the state government.

Arguing on behalf of the state government, counsel Vijay Narayan said that a wage agreement had been signed with the workers.

"The government's "2.44% factor" (salary hike) will result in an additional expense of Rs 81 crore per month on transport corporations even as a special increment was being given to those who had joined work between 2013 and 2016". The High Court said that the government could take action against those who have stopped work. "But workers have gone on strike causing inconvenience to the public", he said.

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"I appeal to employees to come back for duty, honorable court has also asked them to come back", Vijayabhaskar said addressing media at Karur.

General Secretary of DMK-backed LPF, M Shanmugam, said they were not anxious about action from the government since any protest would attract action. So we demanded at least to provide a hike of 2.57 times on par with other government departments.

However, the unions said they had not received the High Court's order, adding that the court had not heard their side, PTI reported.

When Express tried to find out what was the reason behind people not thronging bus stands, as is the norm, it came to light that after the strike began on Thursday evening most people made a decision to stay home on Friday. But soon after the meeting, transport minister M R Vijayabaskar ruled out any negotiations with the trade unions.

A large number of people were seen queued up waiting for the private buses at the different bus stops. Across the state, 90% of the state and corporation run buses went off the roads due to which daily passengers and long distance travellers stranded and felt helpless.

Police have been posted at bus depots to prevent any untoward incidents.

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