As the strike entered the second day on Friday crippling operation of the eight transport corporation running about 21,000 buses, the first bench of the High Court headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee ordered the workers to resume work or face the effect including termination and contempt of court.
Taking a serious view of the strike called by certain unions, it said the workers should get back to work or "face consequences", including termination and contempt of court.
Drivers and conductors of various state transport corporations went on a sudden strike from midnight. We will once again meet at 5 pm today and intensify the strike till the government agrees for our proposals. The unions want a 2.57 per cent hike but the government is willing to increase salaries by 2.44 per cent. He said, "Thirty employees refused to accept the agreement".
In a statement to media on Friday, Vijaybhaskar said 13th wage revision for transport employees was held on January 4.
"If (the transport staff) continue with the protest and cause trouble to people, the government will not hesitate to take action as per law against them", he added.
Meanwhile, another minister KC Veeramani gave a dressing down to policemen on the streets for allegedly not taking action against agitating employees who were preventing others from joining works.
"The alternative measures that are being taken by the government will only worsen the problem". Over 40 trade unions affiliated to the state transport corporations have made a decision to intensify the protest.
The strike started on Thursday night after a meeting between union representatives and State transport minister MR Vijaybhaskar remained inconclusive.
DMK working president MK Stalin urged chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami to end the imbroglio by holding talks with the unions and giving them a "good Pongal gift".
The unions wanted the "factor" to be fixed at 2.57 while the government insisted that it be 2.44. A large number of people were seen queued up waiting for the private buses at the bus stops. Auto drivers were also reported to have increased the fare to three times the normal charges.