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Tamil Nadu Transport Workers Call Off 8-Day Bus Strike 'Temporarily'

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| January 12 , 2018 , 08:30 IST

Transport workers in Tamil Nadu who had been on an 8-day strike, putting a halt to bus services since January 4, will be returning to work on Friday, calling off the bus strike 'temporarily' so as to not inconvenience the public ahead of the Pongal festival on Sunday.

CITU leader A Soundarrajan speaking to media, said that the strike was “temporarily” called off, keeping in mind the people who have made plans to travel home for the Tamil harvest festival Pongal, taking place on January 14.

“The strike is being temporarily withdrawn keeping in mind the welfare of the people of the state,” he added.

ALSO READ: Tamil Nadu Bus Strike Continues, Affecting Nearly 1.8 Crore Travellers

Workers of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) had called for an indefinite strike demanding raises in their salary. The unions had called for a 2.57 percent hike, to which the government offered only 2.44 percent, leading to a stalemate. Meanwhile, the Madras High Court on Thursday appointed an arbitrator to settle the wage dispute with the government.

Apart from wages, the workers also cited other demands, such as pending dues for serving and retired personnel.

M Shanmugam, general secretary of DMK-backed Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), said the 2.44 factor is only “an interim arrangement,” and that the strike was only being “suspended” and “postponed.”

Lauding the workers for their unity, he said,  “This strike is being suspended.... Postponed.”

Around 17 unions had participated in the bus strike, severely crippling public sector bus services for the past week.

The Tamil Nadu government came under controversy recently, when they nearly doubled the salaries of its MLAs while the transport workers were on strike demanding increase in wages.