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The Madras High Court today asked the striking trade unions of the state transport corporation to resume work immediately to ensure resumption of the public transport service. If the members of the unions failed to resume work, then the government should take necessary action against them under the Essential Services Maintenance Act and take disciplinary and penal actions against violators of the Act, said a Madurai bench of justices M V Muralidharan and N Seshasayee. The bench gave the order while hearing a plea against the indefinite strike by 10 trade unions of Tamil Nadu Government Transport Corporation, which commenced on Sunday.
The plea sought the strike to be declared illegal under the ESMA. The bench also directed the media to publish the order. The court also asked officials to report the compliance of the order on May 17. The plea, filed by one Senthil Kumariah, also sought the court's direction to the government to take action against the the union members, found stopping others from doing their work and those indulging in anti-social activities like attacking the crew who were willing to work and obstructing the temporary drivers from joining the duty. The public transport service is an essential service and the unions cannot obstruct the movement of buses, said the plea. He said nearly one crore people in the state travel in government buses daily. Private operators were capitalising the situation and were charging exorbitant fares from the people, he submitted.
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