Chennai

Minister urges unions to call off transport strike

Transport Minister M.R. Vijayabhaskar on Wednesday appealed to the transport unions to call off Thursday’s strike as Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had announced interim relief to the employees of the State Transport Corporation. Nine unions, including the LPF, the CITU and the INTUC, have called for the strike on Thursday.

The Minister told presspersons that Mr. Palaniswami had announced an interim relief of ₹1,000 a month to all the employees of the State Transport Corporation till the wage agreement was completed. The term of the last wage agreement ended in September 2019.

The government would continue to hold talks with the unions over the wage agreement. To a question on the possible disruption in services, he said the department had taken steps to maintain normal services.

Mr. Vijaybhaskar said ₹536 crore had been allocated to pay retirement benefits to employees from January to April.

A senior official said a contingency plan had been worked out to operate as many buses as possible. He said the department had requested the police to tighten security and ensure that members of the public were not put to hardship because of the strike.

The Minister held a meeting with senior officials.

The official said as schools were not functioning in a full-fledged manner because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the commuter traffic was not heavy, there would not be any major disruption in MTC bus operations. At present, about 3,000 buses were being operated in the city. The department had warned the transport employees that those participating in the strike would be not be paid salary for the day.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 7:35:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/minister-urges-unions-to-call-off-transport-strike/article33927905.ece

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