Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Tamil Nadu: High Court asks bus strikers to resume services

Office-goers stranded at a bus terminus in Chennai on Friday as employees of Tamil Nadu state transport corporations went on strike from Thursday night - Bijoy Ghosh Transport workers in TN reject Madras HC direction to call off strike
Delia Stanley | 07 January, 2018, 01:16

Ten trade unions had announced launching the indefinite strike yesterday after their talks with the government over a key demand on a "factor" determining wage structure failed.

"The alternative measures that are being taken by the government will only worsen the problem".

Vijayabhaskar appealed to striking employees to return to work. Despite financial constraints of transport corporations a wage revision providing for 2.44 times increase in basic pay and once in three years revision was signed on Thursday.

"The new wage structure had the highest revision proposed with a minimum of Rs2,684 and a maximum of Rs11,361. hope the employees get back to work", the minister said.

Later, the government also issued an ultimatum, asking the workers to return to work, else it will not hesitate to take action as per law.

Transport union leaders said they will challenge the court order, which they said is one-sided as they were not heard.

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

Labour Progressive Federation (DMK backed) general secretary M Shanmugam said that the government may be able to operate the buses with the help of temporary drivers, but this will not bring a permanent solution.

He expressed regret over the hardship being caused to people in the wake of the strike.

DMK working president MK Stalin urged chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami to end the imbroglio by holding talks with the unions and giving them a "good Pongal gift".

"CITU leader A Sounderrajan, who participated in Thursday's talks with the government, said that "not even 10 per cent" of buses were being operated across Tamil Nadu".

Tamilnadu has a fleet of 22,500 buses, with 1.4 lakh workers in the State's employment.

In a statement to media on Friday, Vijaybhaskar said 13th wage revision for transport employees was held on January 4.

The government has invited those possessing valid driving licences to approach local bus depots to be used as substitute drivers.

Employees affiliated to ruling AIADMK-backed Anna Thozhirsanga Peravai were plying buses, but reports reaching here said a large number of vehicles were off the road in different parts of the state like Chennai, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Madurai among others.

Following the strike, commuters alleged over-charging by autos and private buses even as many opted for suburban rail services in Chennai.

Private bus operators were also finding it hard as they were not aware of the routes and where to stop.

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