Workers of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) had called for an indefinite strike demanding raises in their salary.
"The strike will continue until our demands are met. We are ready to talk to the government, provided it is ready to accept our demands", Soundararajan told Catch. But, the standoff between the government and the workers remained unresolved with trade unions refusing to withdraw their strike unless the settlement signed by the government with "minority unions" accepting 2.44% wage hike is kept in abeyance. Following the Court's intervention, strike was effectively called off late last night.
The Chief Minister stated that numerous demands made by the workers have been met and they should end their strike. "This will be provided before Pongal festival", he said.
Earlier, when the matter came up in the High Court, it appointed a retired judge E Padmanabhan as arbitrator to settle the wage dispute. The President of the Employee's Union Periasamy blames the government for not paying attention to the continuing problems of the staff.
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"In the interest of children, students, patients, elders, commuters and larger section of the society, the issue has been referred to the arbitrator to adjudicate the wage dispute and the effective date of such revision of wage", a special bench headed by Justice S Manikumar said.
Soon after a bill proposing a hike in the monthly salary and other allowances of MLAs in Tamil Nadu by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy was tabled in the Assembly, sidelined All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader TTV Dhinakaran on Wednesday opposed the bill.
The MLAs salary hike bill attracted widespread criticism with DMK staging a walkout from the Assembly. The strike has affected the passengers across the state. The bench made a proposal that the government would implement the 2.44% wage hike immediately, and that transport workers should resume work immediately.
The AAP and CPI (M) showed their support for the Tamil Nadu transport workers. "The government is more focused on keeping the MLAs happy by giving them a salary bonanza but is least concerned about the plight of the workers", said CITU general secretary Tapan Sen.
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