Normal life in Tamil Nadu would continue to remain affected with the transport workers unions on Friday announcing their decision to continue their indefinite strike until their demands are met rejecting the Madras High Court direction and Tamil Nadu government's appeal to call off strike.
The striking unions, immediately grabbed the opportunity to take a pot shot at the government's move.
"I request the employees and trade unions who are involved in this unnecessary strike to realise the factual situation and get back to work as per the court directive", he said. The court observed that Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) workers could not resort to such flash strikes without any prior intimation, causing trouble to the public.
Though the government has said that 85 per cent of the buses were operated in the State, the transport unions who called for the strike said that not even 10 per cent buses were plying.
Ex-transport min Senthil Balaji extended his support to the strike The DMK, Left parties and other opposition leaders as well as actor Kamal Haasan urged the government to bring the strike to an end by holding talks with trade unions.
Yesterday, the Madras High Court had issued an interim order restraining the employees from striking work. Despite financial constraints of transport corporations a wage revision providing for 2.44 times increase in basic pay and once in three years revision was signed on Thursday.
'Those who don't come to work and cause hardship to the public must face the consequences, ' the court told the drivers. "This wage agreement had the highest revision proposed, where the minimum was Rs 2,684 while the highest was Rs 11,361", the Minister said. If the government takes action, the employees must face it.
Following the strike, commuters alleged over-charging by autos and private buses even as scores opted for suburban rail services in Chennai.
Tamilnadu has a fleet of 22,500 buses, with 1.4 lakh workers in the State's employment.
A large number of people were seen queued up waiting for the private buses at the different bus stops. They called the strike on Thursday after they said talks with Vijayabhaskar on revising their salary and pending dues and arrears amounting to almost Rs 7,000 crore did not result in any breakthrough.
Police were posted at bus depots to prevent any untoward incidents. Several daily commuters are stranded on the bus stand in Chennai due to the strike.