Chennai, May 16,2017: Commuters left stranded across the state on Day 1 due to the infinite strike called by the labor unions including the DMK-affiliated LPF, CITU, AITUC and HMS. These unions began their indefinite strike yesterday demanding wage revision, among other issues. The strike burst out after the third round of discussions between the officials of the Transport Department, the Labour Department and office-bearers of unions failed to break the deadlock over issues related to service conditions, emoluments and settlement of retirement benefits.
The Southern Railways increased the frequency of suburban trains in all the four routes following the request by the Transport Minister M.R. Vijayabhaskar to solve the crises. Special unreserved trains will ply between important cities.
In many districts, around 25% to 30% of the crew members, mostly belonging to the ruling party’s Anna Thozhirsanga Peravai, reported for work.
In urban centers, including Chennai and Kancheepuram, the government asked schools and colleges to ply their buses and collect fares from passengers. Private bus operators, who were pressed into service, charged flat fares for various destinations, which were higher than the normal fares collected by the State-owned transport corporations.
Transport Minister M.R. Vijayabhaskar called upon those with heavy-vehicle driving licenses to join as drivers on a daily wage basis promising preference in recruitment when vacancies arise in future.
While talking to the media the Transport Minister M.R. Vijayabhaskar said that almost 75% of the buses were in operation and it will be restored 100% by today or tomorrow.