January 8, 2018
Bus services remain paralysed for the fifth consecutive day on Monday with no resolution in sight with the Madras High Court ordering the transport employees to return to work immediately. But the High Court also issued a directive to the TN government not to terminate workers without its consent.
The transport unions disregarded the order of the Madras High Court and said the strike will continue until the government gave in to the workers demands in toto. Opposition DMK, Congress and IUML demanded an immediate solution for the problem by talks with the striking workers representatives.
If it is not resolved before Pongal, it will leave thousands of people disappointed as they cannot travel to their homes and participate in the annual harvest festival.
The government did its best to bring the situation to normal by hiring temporary drivers, but the problems only multiplied with couple of such drivers causing accidents. One driver was arrested in Chennai on Monday for causing death on Saturday in an accident in Chennai.
President, Tamil Nadu State Transport Employees Federation, A Soundarrajan demanded the government to discuss the issue with the workers and end the stalemate that was causing great hardship to the people. It is the government that is responsible for the mess as, it failed to live up to the promises it made when the transport strike of February was withdrawn on government assurances.
“Nothing was done,” said Soundarajan adding the strike was peaceful and will continue.
DMK working president MK Stalin said the government must invite union leaders for talks to amicably settle the issue ahead of Pongal.
AIADMK rebel group leader TTV Dhinakaran lambasted the chief minister for mishandling the bus strike and demanded that the same be resolved at the earliest.