TN Bus Strike Enters Day 4; Temporary Drivers And Conductors Deployed

The busses stand still at Koyambed Mofissil Bus terminus following the flash strike by the Transport Employees

January 5 (ANI): An indefinite strike called by the state transport workers' unions in Tamil Nadu has left scores of commuters stranded in various parts of the state. Over 10 trade unions are on a strike pressing for wage revision and several other demands.

Office-goers and students bore the brunt of the strike by employees owing allegiance to 17 unions. Meanwhile, Vijaybhaskar appealed to striking workers to return to work. "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.

Due to the ongoing strike, the bus services crippled totally in large parts of the state on Friday. The auto fare is so high, I can not afford it.

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.

The striking unions want the "factor" for wage revision to be fixed at 2.57 times while the state government insisted it be 2.44.

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. "We have to go ask the bus drivers every time", Kanagavel, a passenger at Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus here said. "They have no money to prove a reasonable hike to transport workers", he said.

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. "It is the highest increase in the wages compared to the previous settlements".

Soundararajan said that the workers resorted to strike as the government went ahead with signing wage agreement without talks concluding. They have been demanding for a pay scale revision to Rs 30,000.

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

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