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Last Updated : Jan 10, 2018 02:34 PM IST | Source: PTI

Transport workers strike enters 7th day; buses remain off road

Many employees led by M Shanmugam, general secretary of the DMK-backed Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), gheroed the labour commissioner's office here and raised slogans against the state government.

Transport employees today staged protests in front of labour commissioner's offices across Tamil Nadu as their indefinite strike over wage revision entered its seventh day.

Many employees led by M Shanmugam, general secretary of the DMK-backed Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), gheroed the labour commissioner's office here and raised slogans against the state government.

Yesterday, the workers had staged 'dharna' along with their family members in front of the divisional offices of various transport corporations in the state. The strike call was given by workers affiliated to some transport unions, who have rejected the wage hike proposed by the Tamil Nadu government.

The stir has severely affected commuters, even though the government tried to keep the transport services running by bringing in temporary drivers and conductors, in addition to the employees who were not on strike.

The commuters, however, were inconvenienced by the reduced number of buses on the roads. Meanwhile, uncertainty over advance booking of tickets for special buses for 'Pongal,' which falls on January 14, continued for the second day today.

Travellers were unable to book tickets as booking counters remained closed at the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus. Southern Railway operated more services to cope with the extra rush due to the ongoing strike. Yesterday, Chief Minister K Palaniswami told the Assembly that it had been decided that wages would be raised by 2.44 times.

"Salary has been hiked. it is not fair to ask that it should be further increased...I appeal to workers...they should return to work," he said. Citing the Madras High Court's January 5 directive that employees should return to work, Palaniswami said the order should be respected. However, the workers, who demand a 2.57-time hike, stepped up their protest and held demonstrations.

As many as 17 trade unions had launched the indefinite strike since January 4 night, with scores of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) staff joining the protest.
First Published on Jan 10, 2018 02:30 pm
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