Tamil Nadu: High Court asks bus strikers to resume services

07 January, 2018, 01:15 | Author: Otis Hoffman
  • Commuters were hit hard by a strike called by employees of Tamil Nadu state transport corporations on Thursday night.- Bijoy Ghosh

Scores of commuters were left stranded in Koyambedu bus terminal of Chennai as an indefinite strike by the transport workers' unions in Tamil Nadu continued for the third day.

Further, seven unions joined the strike today, taking the number to 17, he told reporters here.

"I request the employees and trade unions who are involved in this unnecessary strike to realise the factual situation and get back to work as per the court directive", he said.

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

A temporary driver roped in to fill in for striking road transport corporation bus operator in Tirupur rammed the vehicle into a house.

Soundararajan said that the workers resorted to strike as the government went ahead with signing wage agreement without talks concluding.

M. Shanmugam of the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), who backed the Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), said after the meeting, "While our plea was for a 2.57% wage hike, the government said it was not acceptable and insisted on a 2.44% hike". In a joint statement, workers unions said the government had held 21 rounds of talks with them in the last 16 months but had not been able to come to a decision on the wage revision issue.

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"If (the transport staff) continue with the protest and cause trouble to people, the government will not hesitate to take action as per law against them", he added. "Recourse to lighting strikes or flash strikes without notice leads to the consequences of denying the citizens of their right to free movement and is clearly illegal and against the public interest", the judge said while passing interim orders on a PIL filed in this regard. If the government takes action, the employees must face it.

The agitating trade unions, however, remained firm on their demands relating to a wage-fixation mechanism.

CITU leader A Soundarrajan said he felt the court had not heard their side and that the unions will put forth their views on Monday before the bench.

According to a report in the Times of India, around 1.8 crore passengers use 20,800 buses for their commute on a daily basis.

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

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


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