CHENNAI: Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Monday announced interim relief of Rs 1,000 per month to 1.15 lakh employees of State transport corporations as a case relating to the talks on the wage agreement is pending before the Supreme Court.
Replying to the discussion on the demands for grants for the supplementary estimates for 2014-15 in the State Assembly, the Chief Minister said since talks on the wage agreement for transport employees with effect from September 1 was pending before Supreme Court, fresh agreement will be signed after the verdict of the Supreme Court.
Further, Paneerselvam said the government was committed to provide wage hike to transport employees appropriately.
The wage agreement is renewed once in three years and the existing agreement expired on August 31.
A few days ago, the trade unions gave notice for striking work from December 19. Paneerselvam recalled that whenever the Centre hiked diesel price, former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had provided subsidy to transport corporations to cushion people from its impact.
On this count alone, she had given a whopping Rs 1,298 crore towards subsidy to transport corporations, he added.
Earlier, responding to a demand from CPM floor leader CPM A Soundararajan to invite all unions for talks on finalising the wage agreement, Transport minister V Senthil Balaji said the Labour Progressive Front had been a stumbling block for holding the talks. The membership of LPF had come down from 73,450 to around 18,000 now and hence it had lost the right to participate in wage agreement talks. The State government was trying to dispose the case before the SC at the earliest and hold the talks, he added.