Bus strike hits commuters in Tamil Nadu

Glen Mclaughlin
January 8, 2018

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami on Sunday, January 7, held talks with officials from the state transport department in the wake of the strike which has brought the normal life of common man to a sudden pause for the past four days.

Earlier on the second day of the strike, the head of the Centre of Indian Trade Union, Soundararjan, had said, "We don't want to subject the public to hardship but the government is pushing us".

On Saturday, he warned the striking employees of the State transport corporations of stern action if they failed to return to work immediately. The court intervened in the matter after a journalist filed Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the unions strike.

Due to the ongoing strike, the bus services crippled totally in large parts of the state on Friday. "The department will incur an additional expenditure of Rs 1000 crore per annum", he said, urging the unions to call off their strike.

Hours later, state Transport Minister MR Vijayabaskar issued the ultimatum to the employees to resume work or face action and reiterated that the present wage agreement was "unprecedented" in many aspects.

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Chennai: Striking transport employees on Sunday refused to budge from their belligerent stand of continuing with their indefinite agitation and announced that they would knock at the doors of the Madras High Court seeking a review of its verdict asking them to get back to work immediately. When asked about this, he said an action will be taken once the court issues order. The court posted the next hearing for Monday.

He also said they have not received any communication from the court about ending their strike.

A collector, according to The Times Of India, claimed the bus services were affected least in Salem district where around 86% of government buses are operating. "I was allowed to drive the bus by authorities after officials inspected my driving skills". The commuters complained that auto rickshaws and taxis charged exorbitant fares as the public transport system was hit.

While the unions were demanding an increase in wages by 2.57 times, the government reportedly wanted to settle down their demands by raising it to 2.41 times.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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