Tamil Nadu bus strike enters 5th day

Chennai: Agitating transport unions have been mislead about the wage hike, Tamil Nadu transport minister MR Vijayabhaskar said, as the indefinite strike call given by them entered its fourth day on Monday.

The various transport workers' unions in Tamil Nadu made a decision to go on an indefinite strike after the state transport department failed to fulfill their wage revision and other demands. Following the hiked prices, the commoners have taken their agony and stress to social media to address their grievances to the state government.

As the strike continued, the transport department had roped in temporary drivers to resume services in the state.

"Though the frequency was low, we could see a few buses on roads today. We have to go ask the bus drivers every time", Kanagavel, a passenger at Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus said.

Transport Minister M R Vijayabaskar had on Saturday said many employees were getting back to work considering the wage revision offered by the government, besides respecting the Madras high court directive.

Earlier on the second day of the strike, the head of the Centre of Indian Trade Union, Soundararjan, had said, "We don't want to subject the public to hardship but the government is pushing us". However, with comparatively less number of commuters on the weekend and Southern Railway making special arrangements to accommodate extra passengers, the number of people stranded was lower as against the last three days that witnessed heavy crowds and commuter protests.

Sources also said that of the total work force of 18,250 in the division, estimates revealed that 11,819 are on strike.

The leaders of trade unions said they would holding novel agitations on Tuesday to press their demands.

"Based on the advice by the officials, the employees will get a good hike". I always travel by buses, as I stay in the city's suburb. I hired a cab and spent a lot of money on the fare.

Meanwhile, asking reasons why action should not be taken against them for abstaining duty, the TNSTC Coimbatore division has started serving show-cause notices on its striking employees.

Vanessa Coleman