Tamil Nadu: Delay in clearing dues riles transport unions

80 per cent of govt busses may not run on December 13, 14.
Chennai: Nearly 80 per cent of the 22,000 government run buses in the state might stay off roads this Thursday and Friday as about 12 major unions, mostly affiliated to the opposition DMK and Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) unions are planning on a sitting agitation outside all major transport offices in the state.

“We demand that the transport department clear our dues which nearly amount to Rs 7,543 crore. As many as 1,43,000 transport workers from unions like Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) would take part in the protest on December 14 and 15,” said K.Natarajan, treasurer, LPF.

He added that the retirement benefits of nearly Rs 1,600 crore has not been cleared yet and provident fund and LIC money to be paid to the organisations concerned is due, although the amount is being deducted from employees’ salaries, every month. The workers rued that they are unable to make claims in necessary situations as the organisations say the transport department has not paid them the amount for over three months.

A similar protest was planned by the unions in May this year, ahead of Pongal when the department officials have cleared Rs 1,250 crore due and said the rest of the amount would be dispatched soon. The delay in clearing the dues has once again riled the unions. On the other hand, the transport department is sustaining a loss of nearly Rs 8 crore per day and the court had recently said it is in a process of liquidation.

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