Bus strike hits commuters in Tamil Nadu

07 January, 2018, 08:12 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Tamil Nadu bus strike today: Normal life to be hit as employees demand wage hike

More than 15,000 government buses stayed off roads on Friday as transport workers declared an indefinite strike seeking salary hike and pay parity with drivers in other departments. We will once again meet at 5 pm today and intensify the strike till the government agrees for our proposals.

"This is what you get when you just bring anyone to drive a bus, which is a specialised job", said C. Muthukumaran, a driver working with the PTC in Chennai, on the incident. "I thought it was my duty to work for the people", said Mr Rajakrishnan, who is a first-time MLA from Andhiyur.

Anticipating that the High Court ruling would not result in normal operation of buses as the trade unions are firm in their stance of continuing the strike until all their demands are met, passengers had made their own arrangements to reach their destinations. Despite financial constraints of transport corporations a wage revision providing for 2.44 times increase in basic pay and once in three years revision was signed on Thursday. He cautioned that temporary workers roped in by the government to operate buses in lieu of striking workers is quite unsafe and puts the life of commuters at risk.

Transport workers Protest

The unions wanted the "factor" to be fixed at 2.57 while the government insisted that it be 2.44. A few buses were operated to Kerala with the available crew. 'Out of the 145 buses from the Central depot only 50 buses were operated, similarly only 20 buses were operated from the Thiruvottiyur bus terminus out of the total 110 buses and only 33 buses were operated from the Tambaram depot, ' sources added.

In Thoothukudi district, more than 75% buses were off the road, much to the discomfort of rural people who had to rely on private buses. The transport minister has ruled out any further hike after announcing a 2.44 % hike against the demand for 2.57 %.

Around 1.8 crore passengers avail the bus services across the state, reports said. Chief Minister K. Palaniswami held meetings with ministers while opposition parties urged the government to accept the workers' demands. Those who have heavy vehicle license have been asked to approach the managers of the bus depots.

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