Transport corporations in Tamil Nadu continued their strike for the third day on Saturday despite a Madras High Court order asking them to call it off. Transport unions said the strike will continue until the state government agreed to their demands – to raise wages and pay dues.
Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar appealed to the unions to return to work. He said more staff had reported for work on Saturday and the situation would improve soon, ANI reported.
However, the unions said they had not received the High Court’s order, adding that the court had not heard their side, PTI reported. Around 14,000 buses stayed off roads on Saturday, according to NDTV. The striking employees belong to 17 unions.
Scores of commuters in Tamil Nadu were stranded on Thursday evening and Friday after state transport workers’ unions announced an indefinite strike. They called the strike on Thursday after they said talks with Vijayabhaskar on revising their salary and pending dues and arrears amounting to nearly Rs 7,000 crore did not result in any breakthrough.
After the Madras High Court order on Friday, the state government asked them to return to work or face consequences. Chief Justice Indira Banerjee had said that workers could not go on such sudden strikes without any prior intimation.
“I request the employees and trade unions who are involved in this unnecessary strike to realise the factual situation and get back to work as per the court directive,” the transport minister said after the court’s order. He said the government had proposed a “very good” wage revision agreement despite financial problems.