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Normal life affected in TN as transport unions go on strike

DH News Service, Chennai, Jan 5 2018, 19:36 IST
Passengers stranded at Mattuthavani bus stands following a flash strike by Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) employees, in Madurai on Friday. PTI Photo

Passengers stranded at Mattuthavani bus stands following a flash strike by Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) employees, in Madurai on Friday. PTI Photo

Normal life was affected across Tamil Nadu on Friday as the State Express Transport Corporations' unions announced an indefinite strike.

The strike was announced on Thursday night after the failure of talks with Transport Minister M R Vijayabaskar on pending salaries and settlement of benefits to retiring staff, including PF.

Thousands of people were left stranded in several districts as most of the state-owned buses were off the roads.

However, associations affiliated to the ruling AIADMK operated the bus services and the authorities were trying their best to ensure that normal services were maintained.

"About 30% of transport workers belonging to Anna Thozhir Sangam, a trade union affiliated to the ruling AIADMK, are not taking part in the strike," a senior official from transport department said.

He said that private buses were also engaged to fulfill the demand gap. The official also pointed out that the authorities have decided to engage private bus drivers and conductors to operate the government buses.

Though the announcement was to begin the strike from Friday, several transport employees in places like Trichy, Madurai, Dindigul, Tirunelveli and Ramanathapuram began the strike on Thursday night itself.

In Chennai, more than 20,000 police personnel were posted in front of the bus depots and police have warned of stringent action against those trying to stop the operation of buses.

The window panes of more than 30 buses across the state were damaged after miscreants pelted stones.

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