Transport workers won’t be paid for striking period, says TN govt
In yet another move that widens the rift with transport employees, the Tamil Nadu government has decided not to pay salaries to employees of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation for the one week period during which they were striking for higher wages.
As many as 17 trade unions had launched an indefinite strike on the night of January 3, asking for the 'factor' for wage revision to be fixed at 2.57 times, while the state government contended that it should be 2.44 times.
According to a report in one newspaper, more than one lakh transport workers had not received between Rs 9,000 to Rs 15,000, a quarter of their monthly salaries.
Along with a wage hike, the bus drivers had also demanded job security as well as clearing of pending dues owed to them.
In a direct contradiction, the government issued conditional retirement orders to employees who retired on Wednesday, putting into jeopardy the retirement benefits they are entitled to, on account of their participation in the bus strikes. Their names have to be cleared in order to avail these benefits.
Two days after the bus strike had begun, the Madras High Court ruled that the striking bus drivers in Tamil Nadu should go back to work immediately. The Madras HC 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 had said.
Despite HC orders, the bus strike continued for a week.
Soon after the bus strike ended, the government hiked bus fares across the state with effect from January 20. This resulted in a series of protests across the state, forcing the government to go for a slight rollback.
According to one report, transport unions have decided to convene a meeting on Thursday to discuss the no work, no pay policy of the government.