Tamil Nadu bus strike continues for fourth day; commuters left stranded

Frederick Owens
January 7, 2018

"Recourse to lighting strikes or flash strikes without notice leads to the consequences of denying the citizens of their right to free movement and is clearly illegal and against the public interest", the judge said while passing interim orders on a PIL filed in this regard.

Arguing on behalf of the state government, counsel Vijay Narayan said that a wage agreement had been signed with the workers. "We will challenge the order once we get a copy of it", said A Soundararajan, president Tamil Nadu State Transport Employees Federation and CITU leader.

General Secretary of DMK-backed LPF, M Shanmugam, said they were not anxious about action from the government since any protest would attract action.

Asked if the strike will then continue till Monday, Shanmugam shot back saying "it will continue. But they even refused that", he said.

"The alternative measures that are being taken by the government will only worsen the problem".

He expressed regret over the hardship being caused to people in the wake of the strike.

Leader of opposition MK Stalin and actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan have also appealed to Chief Minister EPS to hold talks with transport workers to end the stalemate. A large number of people were seen queued up waiting for the private buses at the bus stops.

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The strike, following the failure of talks on wage revision and clearance of pending dues with Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar, was declared on Thursday.

A collector, according to The Times Of India, claimed the bus services were affected least in Salem district where around 86% of government buses are operating.

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.

The striking unions wanted the "factor" for revision to be fixed at 2.57 while the government insisted it be 2.44.

The government has invited those possessing valid driving licences to approach local bus depots to be used as substitute drivers. Private buses and vans had a good run as they were over crowded.

Police were posted at bus depots to prevent any untoward incidents. The auto fare is so high, I can not afford it.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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