Unions ‘temporarily’ call off bus strike

The Labour Progressive Front, the CITU and the INTUC announced on Saturday that the strike by the employees of the State transport undertakings has been temporarily withdrawn. There are over 1.3 lakh workers in the eight State transport undertakings (STU). Around 80 lakh people have retired from various transport corporations. In the wake of the State government’s failure to conclude wage talks and meet their demands, the unions called for a strike on February 25.

A major demand of the employees has been pay revision, as the term of the last wage agreement ended on September 1, 2019. They demanded wage parity with other government employees, allocation of funds by the State government instead of asking the transport utilities to borrow loans, improvement of the overall situation of the Transport Department and immediate settlement of retirement benefits.

A statement from the LPF said as the model code had come into force, the government said it could not do anything. “The officials also requested us to withdraw the strike,” said M. Shanmugam, general secretary, LPF. Another reason cited by the LPF for withdrawing the strike is the assurance given by DMK president M.K. Stalin to fulfil all demands if the DMK returns to power. “He urged the unions to call off their strike and return to work, taking into consideration the hardship faced by the public,” the statement added.Arumuga Nainar, general secretary, CITU-led transport union and member of the All Transport Union Co-ordination Committee, said the transport corporation agreed to a few of their demands. “This is one of the reasons for us to withdraw the strike,” Another reason is due to the model code of conduct coming to force and a request was made by the Opposition parties, including the DMK and the Communist parties, to withdraw the strike,” he said. Meanwhile, officials said 79% of the buses were operated till 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 4:12:31 PM |

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