High Court of Madras directs striking Transport to resume work from today

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami in the state assembly on Tuesday urged workers to accept the government’s offer and withdraw the strike

High Court of Madras directs striking Transport to resume work from today

The LPF and the CITU insist that the Tamil Nadu government should withdraw the January 4 wage settlement, as a precondition for withdrawing the strike.

The usual hustle and bustle at the bus stands in Chennai and Coimbatore was seen restored and the commuters expressed delight post the eight-day-long strike.

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Tamil Nadu has over 22,000 buses with a workforce of about 143,000 employees.

The unions want a 2.57 times hike, but the government, after 23 rounds of talks, has agreed for a 2.44 times raise. However, it refused to accept the transporters' other demands - that the government should pay transport workers wages for the strike period and drop all criminal cases against them.

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At some places, the government has pressed into service temporary drivers to build pressure on the striking employees and also rid the public of the inconvenience caused due to the strike.

The AIADMK-backed union, besides some others, had not participated in the protests.

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The union also urged the Madras High Court to direct the state government to hold talks with them. "The government should respect the labourers", said Irualappan, a member of a labour union. Though the strike is statewide, the bulk of those affected will be in populous urban areas. More than 1 lakh people of the state transport department are on strike and this has crippled the main transportation medium for the state and the city. One can deduce the obvious from proposing a pay hike for legislators while thousands of transport workers who earn a fraction of what MLA's do, demand better pay.

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