Chennai: With 11 trade unions of transport corporations across the State having decided to go on strike on September 25, pressing for various labour related issues, the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) has geared up to face the impending challenge in the city. According to official sources, necessary measures are being taken to ensure normalcy on the day of the strike. “We are planning to run all buses with the same crew on two continuous shifts for smooth operations,” said a source, adding that another trade union that was not taking part in the strike had assured to help the authorities with the required manpower.
Meanwhile, a source in the Anna Thozhil Sanga Peravai, which is not participating in the proposed strike, claimed that the maximum number of buses would be operated on that day for the convenience of the public. The MTC, with a fleet strength of about 3,500 buses, is plying its buses on 729 routes connecting various parts of Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts. The transport corporation has 22, 146 employees including drivers, conductors and technical staff, from 25 depots in and around the city.
On the other hand, trade unions are optimistic about the strike. “We expect at least 80 per cent of the employees to stay away from work on September 25,” said M Chandran, president of the CITU-affiliated State Transport Employees Union.
Major trade unions including the AITUC, CITU, LPF (affiliated to the DMK), and DMDK are to take part in the strike. These trade unions have called for the strike with a wide range of demands, including implementation of all clauses of the wage agreement and inclusion of all State-owned transport corporations in the pension scheme.