Tamil Nadu Transport Workers Call Off 8-Day Bus Strike 'Temporarily'

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Bus services in Chennai and elsewhere normalized from last night following a direction by the High Court of Madras to the striking Transport staff members to commence work at the earliest.

17 trade unions and workers associated with DMK and left parties went on strike after the Tamil Nadu Government rejected their pay hike proposal.

While the unions wanted a 2.57 times hike, the government offered only 2.44, resulting in the stalemate.

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

Describing the stir as being for the sake of the workers as also for the common people of the state, the unions have said they will intensify the stir.

The bench noted that government agreed to three of five demands by the unions, subject to employees resuming work from this evening. The General Secretary Shanmugam, according to a report in Dailythanti spoke to reporters stating that negotiations with the transport minister were not satisfactory. The letter was written in part due to IT employees being beneficiaries of public transport.

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Apart from wages, the workers also cited other demands, such as pending dues for serving and retired personnel.

"The strike is being temporarily withdrawn keeping in mind the welfare of the people of the state", he added. More than 1 lakh people of the state transport department are on strike and this has crippled the main transportation medium for the state and the city. Though the strike is statewide, the bulk of those affected will be in populous urban areas. "If the state is not bothered about public interest, we too are not bothered", counsels for the unions told the court. For some who have even retired, the struggle has been a long one.

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