Tamil Nadu: Transport Strike On, Unions Demand Pay Revision
January 5th, 2018
The Tamil Nadu Transport Union went on an indefinite strike on Thursday after talks with the AIADMK-led government failed. Their demands from the government are wage revisions, minimum pay and pending arrears amounting to Rs 7,000 crore, as reported by The Indian Express.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami sat down to take stock of the situation as both the opposition DMK and the Left asked the government to meet the demands.
Scores of people around Tamil Nadu have been stranded as the strike has paralysed the backbone of the transport system. Commuters battled to get buses in Chennai and all other districts on Friday. Coimbatore was among the worst-hit districts, according to The Times of India, Chennai.
The impact of the strike was the most in Salem as almost 86% of the drivers and conductors decided to stay off-duty. In Chennai, people have been opting to travel in suburban trains, as the sale of tickets has noticeably increased. Chennai even witnessed an incident of stone pelting at Aynavaram bus depot.
In Tiruchy, only 16% of the buses are plying. This has become a golden opportunity for private bus owners. They have been fleecing customers with exorbitant rates. Both private and share-autos too have raised the prices.
In Chennai, nearly 40% of government buses were off the roads from late evening on Thursday, and more are expected to join the strike on Friday, said representatives of some of the 46 workers unions that participated in the meeting chaired by transport minister M R Vijayabaskar.
Transport minister M R Vijayabaskar termed the proposed hike was “unprecedented” and appealed to workers to resume their duties. The government’s 2.44 factor will result in an additional expense of Rs 81 crore per month, reported PTI. Vijayabaskar also claimed that 35 unions had accepted the government’s proposal.
The government, however, tried to employ temporary drivers. They decided to pay Rs 450 per shift and called for temporary drivers. A few drivers came, but the efforts were not successful.
Ola and Uber
Online taxi-hailing apps like Ola and Ubers faced a high demand too. Most of the time either cabs were not getting booked for high demand or the arrival time for a booked cab was more than 25-30 mins.
Both the apps sent messages to their customers apologising for the long ETAs.