Tamil Nadu: High Court asks bus strikers to resume services

Tamil Nadu transport strike enters fifth day Madras HC refuses to vacate order against protest

Tamil Nadu transport strike enters fifth day Madras HC refuses to vacate order against protest

I took the bus with due clearance by authorities.

Further, seven unions joined the strike on Friday, taking the number to 17, he told reporters.

"The striking workers should go back to work or face consequences, including termination and contempt of court", it said during the hearing of a PIL seeking a direction to the state government to end the strike by holding talks.

The striking unions, immediately grabbed the opportunity to take a pot shot at the government's move. The government has given many recommendations on strikes by nurses as well. In some towns, strikers got into the scuffle with operational buses.

"I appeal to employees to come back for duty, honorable court has also asked them to come back", Vijayabhaskar said addressing media at Karur.

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With the majority of the workers going on strike, the transport corporations could operate only skeleton bus services with the helps drivers affiliated with the ruling AIADMK's union and private drivers for the operation.

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.

Only 20% buses were operated in Kanniyakumari district which has a strong trade union presence. The State government offered a 2.41-2.44 times rise, which was rejected by union representatives.

Sources said that a total of 200 buses were operated in the city this morning.

Government sources said efforts were on to ply buses. Strike also affected the state's capital Chennai badly, where only 30% of the state-run buses were operational. "The government should understand the plight of the citizens and find a solution to the problem at the earliest", she said.

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Drivers and conductors of various state transport corporations went on a sudden strike from midnight.

While the unions were demanding an increase in wages by 2.57 times, the government reportedly wanted to settle down their demands by raising it to 2.41 times.

M. Shanmugam of the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), who backed the Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), said after the meeting, "While our plea was for a 2.57% wage hike, the government said it was not acceptable and insisted on a 2.44% hike".

Around 1.8 crore passengers avail the bus services across the state, reports said. Close to 50 lakh passengers utilise the public service on a daily basis.

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