MTC workers go on flash strike in Chennai; commuters stranded in various parts of city

A flash strike by the crew of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) over the payment of salary early on Monday left thousands of city commuters in the lurch. The strike, carried out by the drivers and conductors affiliated to opposition unions over the non-payment of a portion of salary, resulted in the non-operation of buses from several termini, including Ambattur, Avadi, Poonamallee, Anna Nagar West and Iyyappanthangal.

The transport services particularly took a hit on the western sector resulting in crowding on the suburban train services bound towards Chennai Beach and Moore Market Complex suburban railway station.

S. Arumugam, a resident, said no buses were operated from the Avadi bus terminus, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded as they had no option but to travel in crowded share autorickshaws.

Hundreds of people waited patiently at the Avadi bus terminus and later took the electrical multiple unit (EMU) services which normally run packed during rush hours.

A senior official of the State Transport department said that the flash strike was carried out over a rumour that only a portion of the salary would be paid. The full salary could not be credited, as June 30 was a Sunday. However, talks are on with the leaders of the LPF and the CITU to call off the strike.

While the strike call been called off in some termini, buses are yet to be operated from Ambattur, Poonamallee, and Anna Nagar West.

He said: “We have requested the union leaders to assure the bus crew that payment of salary would be made today.”

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Transport Minister M.R. Vijaybhaskar has assured the union leaders that full salary would be disbursed by Monday evening.

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