Tamil Nadu: High Court asks bus strikers to resume services

Kristopher Drake
January 7, 2018

The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation workers' strike, demanding a hike in their wages, entered the second day on Friday.

"There will be an interim order restraining the transport workers, specially, the drivers and conductors, from taking recourse to strike", the court said.

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

Talking to mediapersons at Karur, the transport minister said many employees had returned to duty on Saturday and expressed confidence that the rest would be back by Sunday. "This wage agreement had the highest revision proposed, where the minimum was Rs 2,684 while the highest was Rs 11,361", the Minister said.

Transport workers are demanding salaries on par with drivers in other State government corporations.

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) leader A. Soundarrajan said they were ready for talks and regretted that people will suffer. "If they fail to do so, as per the law, departmental action will be initiated against them". "The authorities allocated a bus to me and I drove on more than eight routes".

On Friday afternoon, Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami called for a meeting to take stock of the situation, after the Opposition, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Left, asked the government to step in and end the strike.

Further, seven unions joined the strike on Friday, taking the number to 17, he told reporters.

While the Madras High Court has directed striking workers to resume work, trade unions have announced that they would continue their protest till their demands are met. They called the strike on Thursday evening after unions said talks with Transport Minister MR Vijayabaskar on revising their salary and pending dues and arrears amounting to almost Rs 7,000 crore did not result in any breakthrough. Besides, private buses were also roped in to meet the situation at several places.

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

In the capital city, Chennai, a stone pelting incident has occurred at a bus depot.

The unions wanted the "factor" to be fixed at 2.57 while the government insisted that it be 2.44. The auto fare is so high, I can not afford it.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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