Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Tamil Nadu transport strike enters 7th day, unions say stir will continue

Tamil Nadu transport strike enters 7th day, unions say stir will continue

The unions had earlier requested the Madras High Court to cancel a January 4 government order in favour of Anna Workers' Union and asked the judge to tell the authorities to start discussions soon with the strikers.

However, the bench refused to include the other demands of the trade unions, including wages during the strike period and dropping of criminal and departmental actions taken against the striking workers as a subject matter of the arbitration, saying the unions can not seek to adjudicate what is not their case. Later, the government also issued an ultimatum, asking the workers to return to work, else it will not hesitate to take action as per law.

Tamil Nadu has over 22,000 buses with a workforce of about 143,000 employees.

At some places, the government has pressed into service temporary drivers to build pressure on the striking employees and also rid the public of the inconvenience caused due to the strike.

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Announcing the withdrawal of strike, A Soundararajan of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) said that employees will to "resume duties from tomorrow morning".

Tamil Nadu advocate general Vijay Narayanan submitted to the court that the workers were holding the government to ransom and were not allowing the government transport department to function.

"Our protests would continue across the state until our demands are met", said A Soundarrajan, a trade union leader.

Chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Tuesday in state's lawmaking body urged workers to withdraw their strike. For some who have even retired, the struggle has been a long one.

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