Chennai Metro employees call off indefinite strike

Chennai Metro Rail employees called off the indefinite strike on the night of May 1, They were on strike for 48 hours.

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Employees demanded reinstatement of eight terminated workers, and after their second round of meeting with the CMRL (Chennai Metro Rail) management, the matter was resolved and worked in their favour.

The meeting was presided by assistant labour commissioner, O Janakiraman.

The employees called the strike on April 29, as they alleged biased termination of eight workers for forming an employee union. Further on May 1, CMRL management suspended three more employees – two traffic controllers and a depot controller – for alleged sabotaging of the signal system which threw services out of order on April 29.

On Wednesday’s meeting, a decision was arrived in which the three employees who were later suspended would be probed first, and then further action would be decided on their reinstatement.

Meanwhile, the strike caused disruptions of train services and great discomfort for common public. The government intervened, and told employees to appeal to CMRL big wheel and instructed metro management not to take further disciplinary action.

The two-day strike was a result of dissatisfaction among employees that CMRL management failed to resolve.

Last year workers went on strike twice, once in July and again in December, but never disrupted metro services. They put forwarded several demands such as pay revision, overtime pay etc. Also, they stood against hiring of untrained workers which caused technical glitches in metro services.

CMRL management claimed that their demands were baseless, and said they were being paid at par with government and private firm employees. They added that most of the employees who were hired, were ITI holders and paying them at par with engineers and architects wasn’t possible.

After July strike last year which happened to be the first, around 250 workers again went on strike in December against suspension of seven workers. The employees who went on a strike believed that the seven workers were suspended unfairly as they raised their voice against the contract system of paying huge sum of money to middlemen for hiring metro rail employees.

Meanwhile, the current strike may have been called off but the entire problem isn’t rooted out completely.

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