The indefinite strike by transport unions in Tamil Nadu entered the fourth day as agitating workers refused to return to work even after a stern admonition by the state government.
Chennai: Hours after the Madras High Court said they should call of their two-day old strike, which has caused hardship to public, transport corporation unions said on Friday their agitation would continue till their demands on wage revision were met by the Tamil Nadu government.
Office-goers and students bore the brunt of the strike by employees owing allegiance to 17 unions. "Recourse to lighting strikes or flash strikes without notice leads to the consequences of denying the citizens of their right to free movement and is clearly illegal and against the public interest", the judge said while passing interim orders on a PIL filed in this regard.
All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) founder R. Sarathkumar termed the strike ahead of the Pongal festival unfortunate, adding that the losses being faced by the transport corporations boiled down to mismanagement, non-maintenance of buses and the increase in the price of diesel. "We will move the court on Monday", said CITU state general secretary A. Soundararajan.
"Appeal to employees to come back for duty, honorable court has also asked them to come back". "If the court has passed an order without out hearing our views, it amounts denial of natural justice".
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He also said they have not received any communication from the court about ending their strike. On Saturday, officials in a number of districts in the state recruited temporary drivers and conductors with valid licences and operated government buses, The Hindu reported.
DMK, the main opposition party in the state Assembly, had urged the government to hold talks with trade unions and bring an end to the impasse.
The striking unions want the "factor" for wage revision to be fixed at 2.57 times while the state government insisted it be 2.44.
Officials said buses were being run by utilising services of workers affiliated to ruling AIADMK-backed union ATP. The commuters complained that auto rickshaws and taxis charged exorbitant fares as the public transport system was hit.