Tamil Nadu Transport Minister appeals to bus employees

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With 1.4 lakh workers in bus services, there are 22,500 buses on Tamil Nadu roads, NDTV reported.

Taking a serious view of the strike called by certain unions, it said the workers should get back to work or "face consequences", including termination and contempt of court.

A collector, according to The Times Of India, claimed the bus services were affected least in Salem district where around 86% of government buses are operating. A few unions agreed to the deal given by the government and desisted from joining the strike. He said, "Thirty employees refused to accept the agreement".

Muthukumaran is among the thousands of transport workers who are on an indefinite strike since Thursday evening over the issue of higher wages.

"Appeal to employees to come back for duty, honorable court has also asked them to come back".

"The alternative measures that are being taken by the government will only worsen the problem".

Unsafe wind chills expected Saturday; warmer temps Sunday
O'Hara says normal temperatures for this time of year feature highs of around 41 degrees and lows of around 26 degrees. Since ground temperatures have been at or below freezing since Christmas, it looks like Monday morning will be messy.

"Why are you not taking action against them", the minister was seen asking haughtily to policemen.

Employees affiliated to ruling AIADMK-backed Anna Thozhirsanga Peravai were plying buses, but reports reaching here said a large number of vehicles were off the road in different parts of the state like Chennai, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Madurai among others. The commuters complained that auto rickshaws and taxis charged exorbitant fares as the public transport system was hit.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami chaired a meeting of ministers and senior officials to take stock of the situation, even as opposition parties including the DMK and the Left, besides actor Kamal Haasan, urged the government to end the stalemate by holding talks with trade unions.

Transport Minister M.R. Vijayabaskar accused "some unions" of trying to flare up the strike for their own agenda even as 32 trade unions signed the wage agreement.

The unions wanted the "factor" to be fixed at 2.57 while the government insisted that it be 2.44.

While the Madras High Court has directed striking workers to resume work, trade unions have announced that they would continue their protest till their demands are met.