Tamil Nadu

Transport staff not to be paid salary for strike period

The State government has told the 1.10 lakh transport workers who went on a strike for a week demanding a better wage pact that they won’t be paid their salaries for that particular week.

According to official sources, the government has applied the ‘no work, no pay’ principle and that the striking transport workers knew before [they went on strike] that this would be the outcome. The Supreme Court had upheld this principle, the officials said emphasising that this was made clear in the government’s counter-affidavit too when the case was in the High Court. “The union leaders got a copy of the counter-affidavit,” an official said.

The trade union leaders, meanwhile, have decided to hold a meeting of all the transport unions on Thursday to discuss the issue. The Centre for Trade Union (CITU) State general secretary Arumuga Nainar said that the government had communicated the decision to them two days ago.

“We knew that the government will resort to the ‘no work, no pay’ policy. But usually, the striking period is adjusted with the leave and the workers are paid their salaries. This is to sustain the cordial relations between the government and the unions in the aftermath of a strike,” he said.

‘Act of vengeance’

This time, however, he alleged that the officials were creating problems for the workers who participated in the strike at many levels. Workers were being transferred or disturbed at work places, he charged.

On Wednesday, 500 staff, who attended the strike, retired. The government, however, has officially informed them that their retirement benefits won’t be settled. “It is an act of vengeance. It will not be legally valid,” he notes.

When contacted, officials admitted that the government did write to those who retired this month that their dues would not be settled till they closed the charge memos issued to them during the strike.

Later in the day, Transport Minister M.R. Vijayabaskar held discussions with senior officials on the issue. “The government has decided to drop the charge memos of those who retired on January 31, 2018, enabling them to get retirement benefits without any trouble,” an official said.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 11:15:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/transport-staff-not-to-be-paid-salary-for-strike-period/article22614419.ece

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