Tamil Nadu: Govt appeals transport employees to come back for work

Tamil Nadu: Govt appeals transport employees to come back for work

The striking unions refused to end the strike unless their demands are meet for better salaries and pledged to appeal against the order. In some towns, strikers got into the scuffle with operational buses. "The 2.57 factor (a wage determination technique) is our demand and talks should be held for that", he said. "Those who don't come to work and cause hardship to the public must face the consequences, whoever they may be", the court said.

Claiming that they had not received the court order, the unions, which have rejected the wage increase proposed by the government, said they would present their case properly before the court on Monday.

A majority of the people continued to rely on trains, autorickshaws and private buses for their daily commute.

General Secretary of DMK-backed LPF, M Shanmugam, said they were not anxious about action from the government since any protest would attract action.

The state's AIADMK government hired temporary drivers and roped in private bus service operators.

Labour Progressive Federation (DMK backed) general secretary M Shanmugam said that the government may be able to operate the buses with the help of temporary drivers, but this will not bring a permanent solution. By late in the evening, they had managed to operate up to 50 % of the buses.

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

Private bus operators were also finding it hard as they were not aware of the routes and where to stop. On the other hand, former transport minister Senthil Balaji, a supporter of T T V Dhinakaran, came out in support of the striking unions and faulted the government for the strike.

Hours later, state Transport Minister MR Vijayabaskar issued the ultimatum to the employees to resume work or face action and reiterated that the present wage agreement was "unprecedented" in many aspects. Senior police officials also took part in the meeting.

He also took exception to deploying temporary drivers for transporting passengers, saying there was a risk of accidents in this.

Meanwhile, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president M.K. Stalin spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy over the telephone and expressed concern over the ongoing transport strike, urging the government to expedite talks with the unions. Those who have heavy vehicle license have been asked to approach the managers of the bus depots.

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