‘Those who don’t come to work and cause hardship to the public must face the consequences,’ the court told the drivers.

Resume work immediately or face consequences Madras HC to striking TN bus drivers
news Bus strike Friday, January 05, 2018 - 16:51

The Madras High Court on Friday ruled that the striking bus drivers in Tamil Nadu should go back to work immediately.

The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation workers’ strike, demanding a hike in their wages, entered the second day on Friday. The strike began on Thursday evening when many bus drivers in Chennai were seen abandoning their buses between 5pm and 8 pm.

Arguing on behalf of the state government, counsel Vijay Narayan said that a wage agreement had been signed with the workers. He said, “Thirty employees refused to accept the agreement. Drivers would make up to Rs 25,000 and senior drivers make up to Rs 50,000 (as per the agreement). Already 10 rounds of negotiations have taken place. In yesterday’s negotiations, we decided to agree to the 2.44 that times increase they demanded. Out of 46 unions, 14 did not agree to it. Thirty-two of them have agreed.

While the Madras HC had refused to take up suo moto cognizance of the case earlier in the day, it gave its ruling late afternoon on Friday. The High Court said that the government could take action against those who have stopped work.

“You can take disciplinary action, as well as departmental action. The government has given many recommendations on strikes by nurses as well. If the government takes action, the employees must face it. Those who don’t come to work and cause hardship to the public must face the consequences, whoever they may be,” the court said.

In a notice to transport unions, the court pointed out that it had not objected to the protest thus far. “Stop the protest immediately. Action can be taken against those not returning to work,” it added.

The court was adjourned to Monday.

According to a report in the Times of India, around 1.8 crore passengers use 20,800 buses for their commute on a daily basis.

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