Tamil Nadu bus strike leaves commuters stranded, union leaders demand wage revision

Thousands of people were stranded at various places across the state

Thousands of people were stranded at various places across the state

Commuters across Tamil Nadu are bracing for tough times ahead as trade unions affiliated to the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation began their indefinite strike on Thursday.

In a detailed statement to the media, the Minister said the 13th wage revision for transport employees was held on January 4. The trade union leaders were also not happy with the government's offer to settle their arrears amounting to 7,543 crore over a span of seven years. Announcing their decision to continue the strike, LPF general secretary M Shamugham said that they had not got any notice from the High Court on the strike and they would face the case legally. But workers have gone on strike causing inconvenience to the public, he said.

"Any worker refraining from attending to work or performing duty shall do so at their own risk of the consequences thereof including termination of their services and penalisation for gross contempt of this court", the bench said.

The court said recourse to lightning strikes without notice leads to the effect of denying the citizens of their right to free movement and is "clearly illegal and against public interest".

The Madras High Court on Friday directed striking workers to resume work immediately or face disciplinary action after a flash strike by thousands of employees crippled state-run bus services across the state. "We demanded the transport workers wages to be raised on par with government employees but they did not agree". The unions pledged to appeal against the court order.

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"The benefit given to drivers varies from Rs 2,684 to Rs 10,332 per month, depending on the length of services".

He said for employees who entered service after 2013 and up to 2016, it was made a decision to give a special increment of 3 per cent.

According to a report in the Times of India, around 1.8 crore passengers use 20,800 buses for their commute on a daily basis. Over 10 trade unions are on a strike pressing for wage revision and several other demands.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami held a meeting that was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Panneerselvam and Vijayabhaskar.

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