Tamil Nadu bus strike ends after 9 days, normalcy restored

Tamil Nadu bus strike ends after 9 days, normalcy restored

While over 17 trade unions, including the CITU and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-backed Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), are taking part in the protest, the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)-backed Anna Thozhirsanga Peravai (ATP) also joined the agitation on Tuesday in Dindigul district. "How can you continue the strike?" the court asked.

Advocate General Vijay Narayan, after getting instruction from the government, told the court that the government agrees to the arbitration, but refused to accept other demands.

The Madras High Court appointing an arbitrator today to settle their wage dispute with the government "shows there is something more than the 2.44 factor", he said, indicating at their demand for a 2.57 time revision.

"I am happy to announce that the Amma (late chief minister J Jayalalithaa) government will provide Rs 750 crore towards pending (dues) for those who retired up to November 30, 2017. This will be provided before Pongal festival", he said.

-Immediately release terminal benefits of retired transport employees which are kept pending for more than 15 years.

"In the interest of children, students, patients, elders, commuters and larger section of the society, the issue has been referred to the arbitrator to adjudicate the wage dispute and the effective date of such revision of wage", a special bench headed by Justice S Manikumar said.

The Tamil Nadu government had hired temporary drivers to run buses over the last eight days.

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Once the bill is passed in the assembly, the monthly salary of each member would be increased from the existing Rs 55,000 to Rs 1.05 lakh. They will resume duties from tomorrow morning.

While the state government has been repeatedly urged to call of the strike and called for negotiations, the trade unions are adamant at continuing the stir until their demands are accepted by the government. The unions had called for a 2.57 percent hike, to which the government offered only 2.44 percent, leading to a stalemate.

The AAP and CPI (M) showed their support for the Tamil Nadu transport workers. "Postponed", he said and lauded the workers for their unity and discipline shown during this period.

Those involved from the union who are participating in the strike include drivers, conductors and technical staff.

"It is nothing but our own money that the government has illegally misappropriated".

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

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