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TN Bus strike: Transport minister appeals employees to join duty

TN Bus strike: Transport minister appeals employees to join duty

Transport union leaders said they will challenge the court order, which they said is one-sided as they were not heard. Over 10 trade unions are on a strike pressing for wage revision and several other demands.

In a statement to media on Friday, Vijaybhaskar said 13th wage revision for transport employees was held on January 4.

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) leader A. Soundarrajan said they were ready for talks and regretted that people will suffer.

Meanwhile, another minister KC Veeramani gave a dressing down to policemen on the streets for allegedly not taking action against agitating employees who were preventing others from joining works.

"You can take disciplinary action, as well as departmental action".

Asked if the strike will then continue till Monday, Shanmugam shot back saying "it will continue".

He also said they have not received any communication from the court about ending their strike.

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"The alternative measures that are being taken by the government will only worsen the problem". Students, who depend on government buses for traveling to educational institutions, were reportedly worst hit by the strike.

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

The strike, following the failure of talks on wage revision and clearance of pending dues with Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar, was declared on Thursday. He said that buses will be operated with the help of the workers in the Anna Thozhirsanga Peravai, a trade union affiliated to the AIADMK. Private buses and vans had a good run as they were over crowded.

The indefinite strike was announced after the peace talks between the government and unions failed yesterday for the eleventh time.

Private bus operators were also finding it hard as they were not aware of the routes and where to stop. "They may or may not have experience driving a bus".

In the capital city, Chennai, a stone pelting incident has occurred at a bus depot.

Following the strike, commuters alleged over-charging by autos and private buses even as scores opted for suburban rail services in Chennai.


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