Transport workers in TN reject Madras HC direction to call off strike

Tamil Nadu bus strike today: Normal life to be hit as employees demand wage hike

The Tamil Nadu state transport corporation (TNSTC) employees strike enters the second day despite the Madras High court orders on Friday which directed striking workers to resume work immediately or face disciplinary action.

As the strike entered the second day on Friday crippling operation of the eight transport corporation running about 21,000 buses, the first bench of the High Court headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee ordered the workers to resume work or face the outcome including termination and contempt of court.

High court first bench headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee said workers could not resort to such flash strikes without any prior intimation, causing trouble to public. Commuters are also opting for alternative modes of transport such as train, autorickshaws and private transport in various parts of the state as most buses remained off the road.

"Appeal to employees to come back for duty, honorable court has also asked them to come back".

The trade unions called for the strike after several rounds of talks with transport minister M.R.Vijayabhaskar failed to yield result. "The department will incur an additional expenditure of Rs 1000 crore per annum", he said, urging the unions to call off their strike. The government had also issued an ultimatum, asking workers to return to work, else it will not hesitate to take action as per law. The court posted the next hearing for Monday. "But they even refused that", he said.

Sounderrajan, who participated in talks with government on Thursday, on Friday claimed that "not even 10 percent" of buses were being operated across the state.

"I have been waiting for a few hours now, but the bus is not running".

Chief Minister E Palaniswami held discussions with the Transport Department authorities to solve the transport strikers issue as the situation going worse.

The commuters in the state have been forced to depend on autos and the rental cab services, specifically on Ola, which has had a drastic hike in the fares.

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.

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