Return or face action: TN govt to striking transport staff

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

The employees affiliated to the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)-backed union will not participate in the strike.

"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.

Hours after the Madras High Court ordered them to call of the strike, the transport corporation unions on Friday said their agitation would continue till their demands on wage revision were met by the Tamil Nadu government. He cautioned that temporary workers roped in by the government to operate buses in lieu of striking workers is quite risky and puts the life of commuters at risk.

Ex-transport min Senthil Balaji extended his support to the strike The DMK, Left parties and other opposition leaders as well as actor Kamal Haasan urged the government to bring the strike to an end by holding talks with trade unions.

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

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

"The government's "2.44% factor" (salary hike) will result in an additional expense of Rs 81 crore per month on transport corporations even as a special increment was being given to those who had joined work between 2013 and 2016".

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.

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General Secretary of DMK-backed LPF, M Shanmugam, said they were not anxious about action from the government since any protest would attract action.

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

However, the unions said they had not received the High Court's order, adding that the court had not heard their side, PTI reported.

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

The strike, following the failure of talks on wage revision and clearance of pending dues with Transport Minister M.R. Vijayabhaskar, was declared on Thursday.

Police have been posted at bus depots to prevent any untoward incidents.

A majority of the people continued to rely on trains, autorickshaws and private buses for their daily commute.

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