Medical

TN Bus strike: Transport minister appeals employees to join duty

TN Bus strike: Transport minister appeals employees to join duty

"I appeal to employees to come back for duty, honorable court has also asked them to come back", Vijayabhaskar said addressing media here on the third day of the strike.

Following the strike, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palansiwami today held a high level meeting with Transport Minister M R Vijayabaskar at the secretariat today.

Drivers and conductors of various state transport corporations are demanding wage hike among other things. "The 2.57 factor (a wage determination technique) is our demand and talks should be held for that", he said.

Reading out a statement before reporters, he said the government had proposed a "very good" wage revision agreement despite financial issues faced by the transport corporations.

He also warned that strict action will be taken against private buses who charge extra amount from passengers.

The trade unions had, however, said their agitation would continue till their demands on wage revision were met by the state government.

'Those who don't come to work and cause hardship to the public must face the consequences, ' the court told the drivers.

The Madras High Court on Friday directed the striking unions to withdraw the strike immediately or face action.

CITU leader A Soundarrajan said he felt the court had not heard their side and that the unions will put forth their views on Monday before the bench.

When Express tried to find out what was the reason behind people not thronging bus stands, as is the norm, it came to light that after the strike began on Thursday evening most people chose to stay home on Friday. Soundararajan alleged that the government which have a debt of Rs three lakh crore got money to hike the salary of MLAs to Rs one lakh, increase judges salary by twice and hike wage of TN Public Service Commission members by three times to Rs 1.8 lakh.

Responding to the government warning of action, Sounderrajan said it did not befit the former and insisted that it should opt for talks to end the stalemate. They called the strike on Thursday after they said talks with Vijayabhaskar on revising their salary and pending dues and arrears amounting to almost Rs 7,000 crore did not result in any breakthrough.

However, reports received here said a large number of vehicles were off the road in different parts of the state like Chennai, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Madurai. Some government buses, operated by staff affiliated to the ruling AIADMK, were operational.

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


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