Tamil Nadu transport unions end strike, to resume work from today

Tamil Nadu transport unions end strike, to resume work from today

The strikers agreed to the State Govt.'s proposal to increase their pay via 2.44 times hike formula and called off the strike.

"The Tamil Nadu government continues to be insensitive towards the workers' demands".

The Chief Minister stated that numerous demands made by the workers have been met and they should end their strike.

"The strike is being temporarily withdrawn keeping in mind the welfare of the people of the state", he had announced.


M Shanmugam, General Secretary of DMK backed Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) said the 2.44 factor is only "an interim arrangement", and said the strike was only being "suspended" and "postponed". Recalling that the State was rechristened Tamil Nadu on January 14, 1969 known till then as "Madras State", Palaniswami said, "on January 14 this year, our historic State is stepping into its fiftieth year with the name of Tamil Nadu".

The continuing bus strike, in a state where state-run buses ferry hundreds of thousands daily, had forced more and more people to take to local trains, making them over-crowded. But, the unions maintained that the strike was not only legal but also justified.

Bus services in Chennai and elsewhere normalized from last night following a direction by the High Court of Madras to the striking Transport staff members to commence work at the earliest. The letter was written in part due to IT employees being beneficiaries of public transport. The statement outlined the demand of the state government to among others "fullfill all the demands of Tamil Nadu state transport workers". "This will be provided before Pongal festival", he said. "You must come forward to serve people during the Pongal season". However, the report points out that the situation in small towns is worse citing an example of a conductor who after 20 years of service earns only Rs. 20, 000 with a basic wage of Rs. 7500. "If the state is not bothered about public interest, we too are not bothered", counsels for the unions told the court. The bill proposing a pay hike looks bad given the circumstances and seems ill advised. For some who have even retired, the struggle has been a long one.

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