Tamil Nadu transport workers call off 8-day strike 'temporarily'

Saturday, 13 Jan, 2018

The AIADMK leader further said that the strike has caused great hardships to people all over Tamil Nadu as most of the people travel by local transport.

Meanwhile, the Madras High Court on Thursday appointed an arbitrator to settle the wage dispute with the government. But, the standoff between the government and the workers remained unresolved with trade unions refusing to withdraw their strike unless the settlement signed by the government with "minority unions" accepting 2.44% wage hike is kept in abeyance.

The Chief Minister recalled that Thyagi Sankaralinganar had made an appeal to the then Congress government for renaming Madras State as Tamil Nadu in 1956. The indefinite strike by 17 trade unions including the CITU and DMK-backed Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) entered the seventh day leaving the state crippled.

A bench of the High Court while hearing a PIL though told the state government that it must take earnest steps to address the genuine grievances of the employees and pay forthwith to them the statutory dues.

Those involved from the union who are participating in the strike include drivers, conductors and technical staff. "Even state's transport minister M R Vijayabhaskar has also talked to the striking employees". The letter was written in part due to IT employees being beneficiaries of public transport.

There are almost 1.4 lakh workers in the TN's transport department who handle around 22,500 buses. On the other hand, Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palanisamy has asked the transport unions to withdraw strike and report to work immediately. Transport workers had been demanding for a pay revision to Rs 30,000; however, the authorities only agreed to pay them Rs 24,400 per month.