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

January 5 (ANI): An indefinite strike called by the state transport workers' unions in Tamil Nadu has left scores of commuters stranded in various parts of the state.

On Thursday, over 30 trade unions under the state transport corporations had met state transport minister MR Vijaybhaskar and presented their demand of having a hike of 2.57 percent in their salary, while the minister stressed on a salary hike of 2.44 percent.

Earlier on the second day of the strike, the head of the Centre of Indian Trade Union, Soundararjan, had said, "We don't want to subject the public to hardship but the government is pushing us". "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. 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.

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. The court posted the next hearing for Monday.

Office-goers stranded at a bus terminus in Chennai on Friday as employees of Tamil Nadu state transport corporations went on strike from Thursday night - Bijoy Ghosh
Tamil Nadu bus strike today: Normal life to be hit as employees demand wage hike

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. He took the wheel, and set off with 35 passengers at 3 pm, The Hindu reported, and was back at the bus terminus by 4.10 pm.

The striking unions wanted the "factor" for revision to be fixed at 2.57 while the government insisted it be 2.44. "They have no money to prove a reasonable hike to transport workers", he said. "It is the highest increase in the wages compared to the previous settlements".

Taking a serious view of the strike called by certain unions, it said the workers should get back to work or "face consequences", including termination and contempt of court. "But they even refused that", he said.

  • Santos West