Strike: curtailment of bus services affects passengers

With only a limited number of buses on road, people depended on private transportation, as seen at Periyar bus stand in Madurai on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

People were affected here on Thursday due to curtailment of bus services because of the transport strike called by the opposition trade unions.

The staff of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) affiliated to nine opposition trade unions participated in the State-wide strike citing the non-conclusion of wage talks. Bus drivers, conductors, mechanics and other staff stayed away from work.

While a senior TNSTC official said around 50% of the buses were operated in the district, opposition transport unions claimed only 20% of the fleet was in service. “Around 30% of the staff reported for duty. Buses were operated on major routes within Madurai and other districts. However, there was a reduction in the number of buses deployed on each route as compared to a normal working day,” said the official.

However, A. Kanagasundar, district secretary of a transport union affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, claimed that around 90% of the staff stayed away from work. “Despite conducting various protests, the government did not come forward to hold talks with the trade unions regarding wage settlement,” he said. The interim relief of ₹1,000 per month announced by the transport department was insufficient, he said.

With only a limited number of buses on road, residents were left with no option but to use private transportation, said S. Parthiban of Doak Nagar. “The daily-wage workers were affected the most. The government must immediately intervene in this matter and resolve the issue,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 8:40:50 PM |

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