Tamil Nadu bus strike enters Day 3, no respite for passengers

Tamil Nadu bus strike enters Day 3, no respite for passengers

The unions have also demanded a minimum basic salary of Rs 19,500, whereas the government proposed a salary of Rs 17,700.

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

"There will be an interim order restraining the transport workers, specially, the drivers and conductors, from taking recourse to strike", the court said. Students, who depend on government buses for traveling to educational institutions, were reportedly worst hit by the strike. "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.

Earlier in the morning, Transport Minister M R Vijayabaskar said that no further talks will be held and requested the striking unions to get back to work. Workers are demanding wage increase.

Over one lakh employees from various government transport undertakings-including Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, Metropolitan Transport Corporation and State Express Transport Corporation-participated in the strike, demanding a 2.57 times increase in wages.

He also said that instances of striking employees "intimidating" others who wanted to work had been reported.

"Why are you not taking action against them", the minister was seen asking haughtily to policemen.

The strike started on Thursday night after a meeting between union representatives and State transport minister MR Vijaybhaskar remained inconclusive.

With the majority of the workers going on strike, the transport corporations could operate only skeleton bus services with the helps drivers affiliated with the ruling AIADMK's union and private drivers for the operation. "They may or may not have experience driving a bus".

Though a good number of vans and autorickshaws were operated to various destinations, the public shunned them as the drivers collected exorbitant fare.

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

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