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

Jan 07, 2018, 08:13
Transport workers in TN reject Madras HC direction to call off strike

"Those who don't come to work and cause hardship to the public must face the consequences, whoever they may be", the court said.

"This is what you get when you just bring anyone to drive a bus, which is a specialised job", said C. Muthukumaran, a driver working with the PTC in Chennai, on the incident. Over 40 trade unions affiliated to the state transport corporations have made a decision to intensify the protest.

Despite Madras High Court having issued a stern warning to striking transport workers, less than 30% of buses were on roads in Tirunelveli district on Saturday.

Sources said that a total of 200 buses were operated in the city this morning. Besides, private buses were also roped in to meet the situation at several places.

Government sources said efforts were on to ply buses.

Similarly, very minimum number of buses were operated from the Chrompet and Alandur depots.

"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. The unions want a 2.57 per cent hike but the government is willing to increase salaries by 2.44 per cent. The transport workers affiliated to 17 trade unions including DMK affiliated Labour Progressive Front, CITU and AITUC resorted to a flash strike from Thursday evening after the talks with the state government failed leaving thousands of commuters, particularly office-goers and students, stranded across the state. Soundararajan alleged that the government which have a debt of Rs three lakh crore got money to hike the salary of MLAs to Rs one lakh, increase judges salary by twice and hike wage of TN Public Service Commission members by three times to Rs 1.8 lakh. The transport minister has ruled out any further hike after announcing a 2.44 % hike against the demand for 2.57 %.

Chief Minister E Palaniswami held discussions with the Transport Department authorities to solve the transport strikers issue as the situation going worse. Senior police officials also took part in the meeting.

The government today called for temporary drivers to operate buses.

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