As bus drivers strike, TN govt tables bill to hike MLAs' salaries

As bus drivers strike, TN govt tables bill to hike MLAs' salaries

"People will laugh at this hike when transport workers are on strike for a salary hike", he told reporters.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami on Wednesday tabled a bill proposing a rise in the monthly salary and other allowances of legislators in the state Assembly. The Tamil Nadu Payment of Salaries (Amendment) Act, 1951, once passed, will come into effect retrospectively from July 2017. The DMK working president MK Stalin, who led the opposition boycott of assembly proceedings on Monday, made it clear that the government has no right to continue in power after having lost its majority.

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Hundreds of commuters struggled to reach places in Tamil Nadu as the indefinite strike called by transport unions, demanding a pay hike among other things, entered the eighth day on Thursday.

The bill seeks to give effect to the decision taken by the state government previous year to hike the pay for legislators and allowances for the chief minister and ministers with effect from July 1, 2017.

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This, however, is unlikely to end the deadlock as transport unions have demanded a 2.57-time hike and stepped up their protest, staging a dharna with family members, including children. Speaker asked the DMK chief whip whether he did not want the salary hike. "When transport employees have been on strike for the past seven days seeking a hike in their salaries, we will become a laughing stock among the public".

Following the strike, the Madras High Court issued orders on January 5 and January 7 demanding that protesters return to work. Drivers belonging to as many as 17 trade unions affiliated to the Left parties and to the DMK.

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He added that opposition leader M.K. Stalin should hold a meeting with the unions backed by the DMK and the CITU and urge them to get back to work.

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