Transport workers’ strike fails to disrupt bus operations – ET Auto

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The Ramanathapuram region of TNSTC Kumbakonam, serving Ramanathapuram and Sivagangai districts, achieved 75% bus operations on Tuesday, with plans to scale up to 100% by Wednesday, according to officials.

The protest launched by Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) workers attached to various trade unions failed to impact bus operations in the southern and central regions. On Tuesday, bus services operated as usual, although connectivity to rural destinations was slightly affected. However, as TNSTC workers are unlikely to withdraw their protest without solutions to their demands, a continued strike may disrupt public transport during the upcoming Pongal festival.TNSTC Madurai Limited, serving Madurai, Dindigul, and Virudhunagar districts, achieved 98.52% bus operations, running 2,134 buses out of 2,166 on Tuesday. TNSTC Tirunelveli Limited, covering Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, and Kanyakumari districts, recorded 104% bus operations, utilizing spare buses as well. “We were well-prepared to handle the situation,” TNSTC Tirunelveli MD Mahendrakumar stated.

The Ramanathapuram region of TNSTC Kumbakonam, serving Ramanathapuram and Sivagangai districts, achieved 75% bus operations on Tuesday, with plans to scale up to 100% by Wednesday, according to officials.

While TNSTC officials claimed that approximately 95% of the total fleets in the Kumbakonam division, including the Trichy region, were operational, protesting workers asserted that only 20% of buses were on the roads. TNSTC Trichy hired temporary drivers and screened 80 casual drivers on Tuesday, allowing only 30 drivers, based on fitness levels, to operate the buses.

Meanwhile, CITU trade unions accused buses of not reaching actual destinations, especially in rural areas, claiming that the impact would be visible in the coming days. Union members and retired employees staged a protest at the TNSTC Madurai headquarters, demanding the government address their concerns.

The statewide protest seeks a revision of dearness allowance (DA) for TNSTC staff who retired since November 2015. With retired employees receiving only 5% of their pensions as DA, there is a demand to increase it to 46%, aligning with other retired state government employees, including teachers, police, and Tangedco staff. “Approximately 96,000 retired TNSTC staff would benefit from the increased allowance, costing the state government only Rs 72 crores per month,” said K Nehru Durai, state treasurer of AITUC (TNSTC).

The protest’s six-point charter includes demands for wage revision, filling 22,000 vacancies, and providing suitable employment opportunities on compassionate grounds for the families of deceased TNSTC workers.

  • Published On Jan 10, 2024 at 10:44 AM IST

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