Live updates: Tamil Nadu bus strike

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CHENNAI: A strike by transport workers’ unions in Tamil Nadu left dozens of passengers stranded at bus stops in various parts of the state on Friday morning. A large number of people were observed waiting on private buses at different bus stops.

Travelers struggled to get buses in Chennai and all other districts on Friday. Coimbatore was one of the most affected districts, the sources said.

Drivers and drivers of several state transportation corporations – TNSTC, SETC and MTC – embarked on a sudden strike Thursday night while talks with Transport Minister MR Vijayabaskar were inconclusive. After the talks failed, the unions announced the indefinite strike.

I’ve been waiting for a few hours, but the bus is not working. The car fare is so high that I can not pay it. Then I called my brother to pick me up.
Deepika, one of the travelers.

About 40% of government buses were off the roads on Thursday night and more are expected to join the strike on Friday, said representatives of some of the 46 labor unions that participated in the meeting chaired by the government. Minister of Transport, MR Vijayabaskar.

On Thursday, more than 70% of the buses from the Thiruvanmiyur, Vadapalani, Tambaram, Avadi, Poonamallee and Iyappanthangal depots were not operated, MTC sources said. In some areas, passengers were forced to get off the buses halfway. Taking advantage, the drivers of cars and car sharing plucked the passengers.

Late last night, the government said buses would be operated by temporary staff, but sources said travelers would be affected. At least 1.8 million passengers, on average, travel daily at 20,800 government buses throughout the state.

More than one lakh employees of several companies, including Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC), Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) based in Chennai and State Express Transport Corporations (SETC), would stay out of work, they said. The unions demand an increase in wages according to the multiplication factor 2.57, so that the basic salary of transport employees, most of them hired by contract, would be revised to? 19,500 per month on a par with the permanent employees of the state government.

Transport unions reject the offer, abandon the talks

For its part, the government suggested that employees agree to be classified in these groups, depending on their experience, those with more than six years of service, less than six years of experience and those newly hired (2013-2016).
“According to this, almost 80,000 people in the first category would obtain an increase of Rs 2,300- Rs 11,800, those in the second category would obtain a basic salary of Rs 17,500 and others would increase according to the multiplication factor 3”. said the sources.