"Recourse to lighting strikes or flash strikes without notice leads to the consequences of denying the citizens of their right to free movement and is clearly illegal and against the public interest", the judge said while passing interim orders on a PIL filed in this regard. Students, who depend on government buses for traveling to educational institutions, were reportedly worst hit by the strike. Drivers and conductors of various state transport corporations are demanding wage hike. In yesterday's negotiations, we made a decision to agree to the 2.44 that times increase they demanded. "But workers have gone on strike causing inconvenience to the public", he said. Ten unions had announced launching the strike yesterday after wage-related talks with the government failed.
"The new wage structure had the highest revision proposed with a minimum of Rs2,684 and a maximum of Rs11,361. hope the employees get back to work", the minister said. If the government takes action, the employees must face it.
Muthukumaran is among the thousands of transport workers who are on an indefinite strike since Thursday evening over the issue of higher wages.
He also said that instances of striking employees "intimidating" others who wanted to work had been reported.
On Friday afternoon, Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami called for a meeting to take stock of the situation, after the Opposition, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Left, asked the government to step in and end the strike. The State government offered a 2.41-2.44 times rise, which was rejected by union representatives.
While the Madras High Court has directed striking workers to resume work, trade unions have announced that they would continue their protest till their demands are met.
Employees affiliated to ruling AIADMK-backed Anna Thozhirsanga Peravai were plying buses, but reports reaching here said a large number of vehicles were off the road in different parts of the state like Chennai, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Madurai among others.
Following the strike, commuters alleged over-charging by autos and private buses even as scores opted for suburban rail services in Chennai.
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