Tamil Nadu bus strike: 10 key points

TN Bus strike

Thousands of commuters were left stranded across Tamil Nadu as the indefinite strike called by some transport unions over wage-related issues entered the fourth day on Sunday.

On Thursday, over 30 trade unions under the state transport corporations had met state transport minister MR Vijaybhaskar and presented their demand of having a hike of 2.57 percent in their salary, while the minister stressed on a salary hike of 2.44 percent.

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.

All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) founder R. Sarathkumar termed the strike ahead of the Pongal festival unfortunate, adding that the losses being faced by the transport corporations boiled down to mismanagement, non-maintenance of buses and the increase in the price of diesel.

"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.

Taking a serious view of the strike called by certain unions, it said the workers should get back to work or "face consequences", including termination and contempt of court. The government had also issued an ultimatum, asking workers to return to work, else it will not hesitate to take action as per law. "But they even refused that", he said. On Saturday, officials in a number of districts in the state recruited temporary drivers and conductors with valid licences and operated government buses, The Hindu reported. Chief Minister K. Palaniswami held meetings with ministers while opposition parties urged the government to accept the workers' demands. "I was allowed to drive the bus by authorities after officials inspected my driving skills". The trade unions demand a 2.57 percent hike while the government insisted on 2.44 percent hike.

The commuters in the state have been forced to depend on autos and the rental cab services, specifically on Ola, which has had a drastic hike in the fares.

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