Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Tamil Nadu: High Court asks bus strikers to resume services

Commuters were hit hard by a strike called by employees of Tamil Nadu state transport corporations on Thursday night.- Bijoy Ghosh Commuters were hit hard by a strike called by employees of Tamil Nadu state transport corporations on Thursday night.- Bijoy Ghosh
Steve Townsend | 07 January, 2018, 01:12

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

Office-goers and students bore the brunt of the strike by employees owing allegiance to 17 unions.

The Madras High Court on Friday directed the striking unions to withdraw the strike immediately or face action. A few unions agreed to the deal given by the government and desisted from joining the strike. "Operating private buses and using temporary drivers will only come as a loss to the government", he said.

MR Vijayabhaskar, TN Transport Minister, said, "Appeal to employees to come back for duty, the honorable court has also asked them to come back".

A similar situation prevailed in Erode district, where authorities appointed temporary drivers and operated some buses.

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

He also warned that strict action will be taken against private buses who charge extra amount from passengers.

China limiting oil product exports to N.Korea
Previous sanctions banned sales of natural gas to North Korea and purchases of the North's textile exports, another key revenue source.


Meanwhile, the Southern Railway, in an official release, said, "It is chose to operate weekday services instead of weekend reduced services in Chennai Beach-Tambaram and MRTS suburban sector to accommodate extra rush in view of the strike". Ten unions had announced launching the strike yesterday after wage-related talks with the government failed. By late in the evening, they had managed to operate up to 50 % of the buses.

"There are no buses and it is hard to find auto as majority are already occupied".

Private bus operators were also finding it hard as they were not aware of the routes and where to stop. He cautioned that temporary workers roped in by the government to operate buses in lieu of striking workers is quite unsafe and puts the life of commuters at risk.

The agitating trade unions, however, remained firm on their demands relating to a wage-fixation mechanism. Chennai accounts for a large share of this with 3,500 buses in the city.

Vijayabhaskar appealed to striking employees to return to work.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami chaired a meeting of ministers and senior officials to take stock of the situation, even as opposition parties including the DMK and the Left, besides actor Kamal Haasan, urged the government to end the stalemate by holding talks with trade unions. The government has also advertised posts of temporary drivers.

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