Transport trade unions in Tamil Nadu have called for a statewide strike on Thursday over various issues, including wage-related demands. Eight to nine state transport unions, including the Metropolitan Transport Corporation, have been observing the strike that has affected commuters in the state.
Bus services in the southern state are running with a few employees. Around 50 per cent of the buses are operating with temporary drivers and Anna Trade Union drivers.
The strike by the transport unions has been reported to involve over one lakh transport employees affecting over 80 per cent of the bus services. The state has around 21,000 government buses.
The DMK has extended support to the strike. Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), and All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) are also part of the strike.
Primary demands of the protesting unions include the release of the pending benefits, wage revision, increase in the pay etc. The 13th wage contract expired in September 2019 and the wage revision is due for over two years, K Aarumugha Nainaar of the CITU was quoted by reports.
Government officials said the strike is to create pressure on the government ahead of the state budget.
The transport unions had called a strike in January. The Madras High Court vehemently objected to it and directed the workers to resume operations or ‘face consequences’. Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) workers can not resort to such strikes without any prior information, which will cause problems for the public, the court had said.