On 6th March, the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) employees associated with a number of trade unions staged a demonstration outside TNSTC Madurai’s headquarters demanding the reinstatement of 11 employees suspended during the TNSTC employees’ week-long strike across the State in January. The employees also demanded the withdrawal of cases filed against these 11 employees of TNSTC Madurai by the police.
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions’ TNSTC wing said that the 11 employees had been under suspension for 60 days with no further communication from the organisation. This is against the standing orders of TNSTC that allows an employee to be kept under suspension only for 30 days. Further, the action by TNSTC went against the instructions of Madras High Court that asked TNSTC not to take punitive action against the striking employees. Workers pointed out that the TNSTC was punishing the employees, who actively took part in the strike, through transfers between branches by providing unreasonable justifications. They also pointed out that it was their united strike action that had forced the government to release Rs.750 crore of pending dues to the retired employees who were struggling to get their benefits since many years. Other associations like AITUC and Labour Progressive Front also took part in the demonstrations. The employees said that the protests will be intensified if TNSTC did not meet their demands.