Hundreds of government-run buses in Chennai were off roads on Monday morning as several transport employees went on a strike, claiming that their salaries for June had either not been paid or were paid partially. The Tamil Nadu government, however, refuted the claim and said pending salaries for June would be paid by Monday evening.

More than 2,000 buses of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation were not operational, reported The Indian Express.

The flash strike was called based on a rumour, an unidentified official of the state transport department told NDTV. “We manage on rotation of funds,” the official said. “Due to weekend, only 60% of cash was sent to bank. We would send the rest today and all will get full salary.”

State Transport Minister MR Vijaybhaskar assured union leaders that full salaries would be disbursed by Monday evening, The Hindu reported. He said: “Transport workers should return to duty immediately, the public shouldn’t suffer because of this strike. No salaries have been cut, the workers will be paid by today evening.”

Operations of buses from several termini, including Ambatur, Avadi, Poonamallee, Anna Nagar West and Iyyappanthangal, were stopped by the strike. Bus services were particularly hit in the western part because of crowding on suburban trains, The Hindu reported.

The strike was reportedly called off at some termini later in the morning. An official told PTI that of the 33 depots in the city, 29 were working in full strength. The trade unions assured the government that employees would return to work, the official said.