Tamil Nadu: Transport workers ends their eight-day long strike

Erika Holt
January 13, 2018

Tamil Nadu transporters, who had gone on an indefinite strike over wage revision, called off agitation on Thursday.

"The strike will continue until our demands are met".

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.

CITU leader A Soundarajan told reporters that the decision to "temporarily" withdraw the stir was taken in the interest of the people of the state ahead of Pongal festival.

"I am happy to announce that the Amma (late chief minister J Jayalalithaa) government will provide Rs 750 crore towards pending (dues) for those who retired up to November 30, 2017".

Responding to the criticism of striking before the busy Pongal holiday period, he said, "The Transport Minister will have to solve it", essentially not giving the government in general and the minister in particular any breathing room with regards to an outcome of the discussions. Also, the salary hike for MLAs is needless when government has no money to pay transport workers.

-Immediately release terminal benefits of retired transport employees which are kept pending for more than 15 years.

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The move came after the Madras High Court appointed an arbitrator to settle the workers' wage dispute with the government. He demanded that the arbitrator decide on the wage revision issue within a month.

The MLAs salary hike bill attracted widespread criticism with DMK staging a walkout from the Assembly.

"The strike is being temporarily withdrawn keeping in mind the welfare of the people of the state", he added. The strike has affected the passengers across the state.

"So far over 10 rounds of talks have been held between the trade union leaders and government representatives", an official said.

The AAP and CPI (M) showed their support for the Tamil Nadu transport workers.

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.

"It is nothing but our own money that the government has illegally misappropriated". Recalling that the State was rechristened Tamil Nadu on January 14, 1969 known till then as "Madras State", Palaniswami said, "on January 14 this year, our historic State is stepping into its fiftieth year with the name of Tamil Nadu".

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