Bus strike: Standoff on, Tamil Nadu government issues Sunday ultimatum

Bus strike: Standoff on, Tamil Nadu government issues Sunday ultimatum

Bus strike: Standoff on, Tamil Nadu government issues Sunday ultimatum

Meanwhile, Vijaybhaskar appealed to striking workers to return to work.

"There will be an interim order restraining the transport workers, specially, the drivers and conductors, from taking recourse to strike", the court said. "The authorities allocated a bus to me and I drove on more than eight routes".

He reiterated that transport corporation employees resorted to strike as they had no other option on the matter.

Apart from the latest talks, the trade unions have earlier held 10 rounds of talks with the government and have demanded an increase of 2.57% hike. The unions have also demanded a minimum basic salary of Rs 19,500, whereas the government proposed a salary of Rs 17,700. "But workers have gone on strike causing inconvenience to the public", he said.

"I appeal to employees to come back for duty, honorable court has also asked them to come back", Vijayabhaskar said addressing media here on the third day of the strike.

"If (the transport staff) continue with the protest and cause trouble to people, the government will not hesitate to take action as per law against them", he added.

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

In Thoothukudi district, more than 75% buses were off the road, much to the discomfort of rural people who had to rely on private buses.

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. Auto drivers were also reported to have increased the fare to three times the normal charges.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami chaired a meeting of ministers and senior officials to take stock of the situation, even as opposition parties including the DMK and the Left, besides actor Kamal Haasan, urged the government to end the stalemate by holding talks with trade unions.

The strike began on Thursday after the talks on wage revision and clearance of pending dues with Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar failed.

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

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