The Madras High Court today reserved its order on pleas by two top Tamil Nadu transport employees' unions seeking to modify the terms of reference of arbitration on transport workers wage hike demands.
The CITU and the DMK-affiliated LPF have moved the court, claiming that if the terms of reference were restricted only to the multiplier of wage hike, it would cause great "prejudice to the workers."
A division bench of justices S Manikumar and M Govindaraj had on January 11 appointed high court judge E Padmanabhan as arbitrator to settle their wage-related dispute with the government.
The unions wanted the court to expand the scope of arbitration to the entire charter of demands of workers including fixation of separate scales of pay and, separate pay matrix for six categories of employees.
Besides this, the unions also claimed that the settlement signed by the government dated January 4, with the minority unions should be declared invalid in law.
The terms of settlement were decided and determined only by the transport minister and the conciliation officer simply gave seal of approval by affixing signature, the workers alleged.
The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation workers, owing allegiance to 17 trade unions, including those affiliated to the DMK and Left parties, had launched a stir on January 4 after talks with the government over wage revision failed.
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