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TN bus strike enters 8th day

TN bus strike enters 8th day

The usual hustle and bustle at the bus stands in Chennai and Coimbatore was seen restored and the commuters expressed delight post the eight-day-long strike.

On its third day, Tamil Nadu Transport Minister M.R. Vijayabaskar had appealed to bus employees to return to work.

On the MLA hike, DMK's MK Stalin said, "People will laugh at us for this hike when transport workers in the state are on strike demanding salary hike". However, it refused to accept the transporters' other demands - that the government should pay transport workers wages for the strike period and drop all criminal cases against them. Temporary drivers have been called and auto drivers are also employed in some places of the state to drive buses. The transport union has been demanding the minimum pay of Rs.19, 500 and for the government to settle dues for employees who have been in retirement since 2013.

This comes after multiple directives from the High Court asking the employees to get back to work, citing the inconvenience that it has caused the residents of the state.

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The continuing bus strike, in a state where state-run buses ferry hundreds of thousands daily, had forced more and more people to take to local trains, making them over-crowded. "Even state's transport minister M R Vijayabhaskar has also talked to the striking employees".

A report in Thozhilalar Koodam, a blog on labour issues in Tamil Nadu, outlined some of the details of the strike.

There are almost 1.4 lakh workers in the TN's transport department who handle around 22,500 buses.