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

07 January 2018

Warning from the state government and the Madras High Court to Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) who are on strike had bare minimal impact as many buses went off road for the second day in succession in Tirunelveli region. In a joint statement, workers unions said the government had held 21 rounds of talks with them in the last 16 months but had not been able to come to a decision on the wage revision issue. The trade unions demand a 2.57 percent hike while the government insisted on 2.44 percent hike.

Though the government has said that 85 per cent of the buses were operated in the State, the transport unions who called for the strike said that not even 10 per cent buses were plying. Workers are demanding wage hike among other things. "This wage agreement had the highest revision proposed, where the minimum was Rs 2,684 while the highest was Rs 11,361", the Minister said. Announcing their decision to continue the strike, LPF general secretary M Shamugham said that they had not got any notice from the High Court on the strike and they would face the case legally. "If they fail to do so, as per the law, departmental action will be initiated against them".

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However, reports received here said a large number of vehicles were off the road in different parts of the state like Chennai, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Madurai. Over 40 trade unions affiliated to the state transport corporations have chose to intensify the protest.

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

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He also warned that strict action will be taken against private buses who charge extra amount from passengers.

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

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But the prosecutor said that "flight attendants did not report that anyone asked them to change seats other than the victim". His wife told officials a similar story, and said that they had called the flight attendants to try to change seats.

Police have been posted at bus depots to prevent any untoward incidents. Soundararajan alleged that the government which have a debt of Rs three lakh crore got money to hike the salary of MLAs to Rs one lakh, increase judges salary by twice and hike wage of TN Public Service Commission members by three times to Rs 1.8 lakh. The auto fare is so high, I can not afford it.

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