Bus services return to normal in TN

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The state government assured transporters to pay all arrears.

The usual hustle and bustle at the bus stands in Chennai and Coimbatore was seen restored and the commuters expressed delight post the eight-day-long strike.

A day after the High court appealed to the conscience of the trade unions to call off their strike in the view of the harvest festival of Pongal, the unions on Thursday morning filed a memorandum offering to resume work if the government agrees to its conditions. Tamil Nadu State Transport minister MR Vijayabaskar said these unions were spreading false information about the government's efforts.

Transport workers have been demanding for a pay revision to Rs 30,000; however, the authorities have only agreed to pay them Rs 24,400 per month.

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Palaniswamy said the dues of retired transport workers would be cleared in a few days, and requested workers to resume work.

While over 17 trade unions, including the CITU and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-backed Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), are taking part in the protest, the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)-backed Anna Thozhirsanga Peravai (ATP) also joined the agitation on Tuesday in Dindigul district.

This comes after multiple directives from the High Court asking the employees to get back to work, citing the inconvenience that it has caused the residents of the state. "Even state's transport minister M R Vijayabhaskar has also talked to the striking employees". "The government should respect the labourers", said Irualappan, a member of a labour union. As ticket reservation counters remain closed, passengers had to look for other options as a mode of travel; particularly private buses whose fares have increased substantially in the wake of the bus strike. The strike has affected the passengers across the state. This is unnecessary when the state is facing severe problems. The bill proposing a pay hike looks bad given the circumstances and seems ill advised.

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