7 days on, Tamil Nadu bus strike to continue. Here's why

13 January, 2018, 02:06 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • O Panneerselvam-PTI

Bracing for criticism at a when transport workers are protesting for increased wages, Chief Minister E Palaniswami said the state would pay the striking workers dues of Rs 750 crore.

On a day when the bus strike by the transporters entered seventh day, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami today tabled a bill in state Assembly that proposes to double the monthly salary and other allowances of the MLAs. The Tamil Nadu Payment of Salaries (Amendment) Act, 1951, once passed, will come into effect retrospectively from July 2017. "There is no need for a hike in salaries of MLAs when the government has been stating that there is a financial crunch in the state whenever ministers are speaking on transport employees strike", said Stalin.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Independent MLA TTV Dhinakaran opposed the bill.

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On Monday, the Madras High Court had refused to vacate an earlier interim order and directed employees of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation to call off their strike.

Further M K Stalin said the government should have avoided tabling the Bill during the session as it has admitted on the floor of the House that it has no money to pay the striking transport employees.

Soon, DMK legislators, led by Stalin, trooped out of the House, followed by their allies, including legislators belonging to the Congress and the IUML. "Salary has been hiked".

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"The government is hesitating to give salaries to the workers".

Bus services across Tamil Nadu have taken a huge blow, leaving passengers stranded in the state. Issue is the timing. The agitating unions have been demanding a 2.57% hike in wages. "Could it not have waited 1 month for Budget session of Assembly?" political commentator Sumanth C. Raman wrote on his Twitter page.

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