Transport workers in TN reject Madras HC direction to call off strike

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

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

As the strike entered the second day on Friday crippling operation of the eight transport corporation running about 21,000 buses, the first bench of the High Court headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee ordered the workers to resume work or face the outcome including termination and contempt of court.

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

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.

Scores of commuters in Tamil Nadu were stranded on Thursday evening and Friday after state transport workers' unions announced an indefinite strike. Chief Justice Indira Banerjee had said that workers could not go on such sudden strikes without any prior intimation.

"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.

"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".

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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. Only office goers and others who had important work within the city actually stepped out.

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

Apart from the latest talks, the trade unions have earlier held 10 rounds of talks with the government and have demanded an increase of 2.57% hike.

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.

Due to the ongoing strike, the bus services crippled totally in large parts of the state on Friday.

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

To give some relief to the passengers few buses including the private ones hired on the contract were operated by the government with police protection to prevent any untoward incidents.

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