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

07 January 2018

Temporary bus drivers and conductors were employed to run buses in Tamil Nadu as strike by Transport workers unions continued for fourth day on Sunday.

Transport union leaders said they will challenge the court order, which they said is one-sided as they were not heard.

"The alternative measures that are being taken by the government will only worsen the problem. Those who don't come to work and cause hardship to the public must face the consequences, whoever they may be", the court said.

More than 15,000 government buses stayed off roads on Friday as transport workers declared an indefinite strike seeking salary hike and pay parity with drivers in other departments. He said, "Thirty employees refused to accept the agreement".

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

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) leader A. Soundarrajan said they were ready for talks and regretted that people will suffer.

On Friday afternoon, Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami called for a meeting to take stock of the situation, after the Opposition, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Left, asked the government to step in and end the strike.

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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. The trade unions called for the strike after several rounds of talks with transport minister M.R.Vijayabhaskar failed to yield result.

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

Private bus operators were also finding it hard as they were not aware of the routes and where to stop.

Police have been posted at bus depots to prevent any untoward incidents.

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

Following the strike, commuters alleged over-charging by autos and private buses even as scores opted for suburban rail services in Chennai.

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