Around 23,000 transport workers went on a strike in Chennai on Monday, July 1, alleging that their salary for the month of June either have not been paid or have not been paid in full. The strike is likely to affect 3,200 government-run public buses in the city, causing major inconvenience to school, college and the office-going crowd.
While some workers alleged that their pay has been cut by 60 percent, the Tamil Nadu government claimed that no salary has been cut and nearly two-thirds of the employees have already been paid in full.
The government said that the delay in payments was due to the non-functioning of banks on the weekends and that the rest of the salary will be paid by Monday evening.
"A rumour has triggered the strike. We manage on rotation of funds. Due to weekend only sixty percent of cash was sent to bank. We would send the rest today and all will get full salary," a senior official was quoted as saying in a NDTV report.
Pressure on the suburban trains and the Chennai metro has increased due to the transport strike. Auto rickshaws and app-based taxi services are seeing greater demands.
The transport workers are also sloganeering at various places in the city and state police has been deployed at bus workshops.
The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) had called for a state-wide transport strike last year, due to wage-related issues. The union, backed by DMK and the Left, demanded a pay increase of 2.57 percent compared to the 2.44 percent offered by the government.