The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) trade unions began an indefinite strike on Sunday evening after talks between the trade unions and the government over wage revision and other demands failed.
Labour Progressive Federation all India treasurer K Natarajan said the adamant attitude of government had yet again led to the failure of the second round of talks held on Sunday.
"We expect majority of the workers to join the strike from tomorrow. A total of 22,000 transport corporation vehicles operate in the state of which only 10% will be plying on the roads from Monday," he said.
But though the strike was scheduled to begin on Monday, May 15, the buses stopped plying in many parts of the state leaving commuters stranded. While Tamil Nadu government insisted that only 10 out of 33 unions are taking part in the strike, most of the buses were off the roads on Monday. DMK-affiliated LPF, CITU, AITUC and HMS are taking part in the strike.
Meanwhile, TNSTC has listed private buses, private drivers and Omni vans to help citizens. Omni Bus Owners Association president A Afzal said they will provide at least 2,000 spare buses including Omni buses and stage carriages to help the government.
Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar said the government has sought the help of the Southern Railway to compensate for the lack of public transport.
The Southern Railways has increased the frequency of suburban trains on all four routes. Special unreserved trains will ply between important cities.
Meanwhile, students from the rural areas appearing for university exams are badly hit and are relying on crowded private buses to reach the examination centres.