January 5, 2018
Chennai: The indefinite strike called by over 40 trade unions of the State Express Transport Corporation from Friday morning, affected normal life across Tamil Nadu.
The bandh announcement came on Thursday night, following the failure of a series of talks the unions held with Transport Minister MR Vijayabaskar over pending salaries and settlement of benefits to retired staff, including PF issues.
The strike left thousands of people stranded in several districts with inter-district buses off the road.
Associations affiliated to ruling AIADMK did not join the strike and were involved in operating services. It was just 30 per cent of the government bus services plying as Anna Thozir Sangam, trade union of AIADMK not joining the strike, said a senior transport department official.
Private buses were stepping in and the transport authorities were considering engaging drivers and conductors of private buses to operate government ones, he added. Though the strike was to begin from Friday, there were reports that employees in Trichy, Madurai, Dindigul, Tirunveveli and Ramanathapuram began the agitation from night itself.
In the State capital, over 20,000 police personnel were on duty near depots and making efforts to ensure uninterrupted services. Reports poured in that miscreant threw stones on buses breaking the glass panes of over 30 vehicles.