Tamil Nadu: High Court asks bus strikers to resume services

07 January, 2018, 01:14 | Author: Jeffery Armstrong
  • Commuters were hit hard by a strike called by employees of Tamil Nadu state transport corporations on Thursday night.- Bijoy Ghosh

The minister said, "I appeal to employees to come back for duty, honorable court has also asked them to come back".

Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar appealed to the unions to return to work. Transport unions said the strike will continue until the state government agreed to their demands - to raise wages and pay dues.

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

He also said that instances of striking employees "intimidating" others who wanted to work had been reported.

High court first bench headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee said workers could not resort to such flash strikes without any prior intimation, causing trouble to public.

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The Madras High Court on Friday directed the striking unions to withdraw the strike immediately or face action.

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) leader A. Soundarrajan said they were ready for talks and regretted that people will suffer.

Meanwhile, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president M.K. Stalin spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy over the telephone and expressed concern over the ongoing transport strike, urging the government to expedite talks with the unions. "More than 50 % of buses are operated in Coimbatore", collector T N Hariharan said.

When Express tried to find out what was the reason behind people not thronging bus stands, as is the norm, it came to light that after the strike began on Thursday evening most people chose to stay home on Friday.

"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". The government just about managed to operate bus services with a skeletal fleet that AIADMK-affiliated unions were left to run.

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CITU transport trade union leader A. Soundararajan said the federation members had distributed pamphlets to commuters about the proposal to go on strike if the wage settlement talks failed.

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

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

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

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