Tamil Nadu transport strike called off

Tamil Nadu reels under transport strike but E Palaniswami tables MLA salary hike bill

E Palanisamy has asked the transport unions to withdraw strike and report to work immediately

The strike has left people stranded affecting daily lives.

On Monday, the Madras high court directed the state government not to terminate any of the striking employees without its permission.

In a huge relief to the people of Tamil Nadu, the eight-day old strike by transport employees was "temporarily" called off by unions today ahead of the Pongal festival, which falls on January 14.

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As per the reports received, the transport workers are demanding a 2.57 times raise in their wages as compared to the salaries of the drivers.

The chief minister announced this during the last assembly session in July.

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

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A bench of the High Court while hearing a PIL though told the state government that it must take earnest steps to address the genuine grievances of the employees and pay forthwith to them the statutory dues.

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 letter was written in part due to IT employees being beneficiaries of public transport. "This will be provided before Pongal festival", he said. As ticket reservation counters remain closed, passengers had to look for other options as a mode of travel; particularly private buses whose fares have increased substantially in the wake of the bus strike. Also, the salary hike for MLAs is needless when government has no money to pay transport workers. One can deduce the obvious from proposing a pay hike for legislators while thousands of transport workers who earn a fraction of what MLA's do, demand better pay. For some who have even retired, the struggle has been a long one.

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