Chennai

Transport staff call off sit-in

The Federation of Transport Trade Unions called off the sit-in on Wednesday evening after an assurance was given by officials of the State Transport department to include the trade unions in wage agreement talks.

A large number of drivers and conductors who are members of transport trade unions affiliated to the Opposition parties staged protests at various bus depots by not operating Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses on Wednesday morning. The delay in operation of buses during morning peak hours resulted in commuters facing difficulty in reaching their destinations.

M. Anand, a resident of Medavakkam, said that there were limited MTC buses being operated on the Tambaram route, resulting in commuters being forced to depend up on share autos. The few buses in operation were all packed during the morning rush hour.

Thousands of commuters bound for Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. MGR Central station bus stop and Broadway bus terminus were badly affected because of the traffic diversion caused by the protest held on Pallavan Salai. Commuterswanted the city police to not permit any protest on Pallavan Salai.

A senior official of the MTC said that initially the drivers and conductors refused to operate the buses by staging protests, complaining that there was no representation of the transport trade unions in wage agreement talks. He said that the first round of the talks is proposed to be held at Chromepet bus depot on March 20. Denying that the MTC bus services were affected by the sit-in, the transport official said that all 3,500 buses were operated on Wednesday.

A. Soundararajan, State president, CITU, said that the transport trade unions had gone on sit-in from Tuesday because they did not receive any invitation from the Transport department for the proposed wage agreement talks. However, based on the assurance from the Transport department officials that recognised trade unions would be part of the wage agreement talks, the protest was called off in the evening. He said that the union members have been ‘advised’ not to cause any hardship to commuters.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 8:29:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/transport-staff-call-off-sit-in/article31044459.ece

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