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MTC workers resort to flash protest against new 12-hr shift

A section of MTC workers resorted to flash protest at depots across the city on the early hours of Wednesday against the new 12-hour shift introduced by the management. It affected the morning bus service and inconvenienced commuters.

MTC workers resort to flash protest against new 12-hr shift


The MTC management has introduced a new 12-hour shift from 8 am to 8 pm as against the three eight-hour shifts starting from 4.30 am. The workers affiliated to the DMK’s Labour Progressive Front and CITU’s Tamil Nadu Government Transport Employees Union staged protests at 33 MTC depots raising slogan against the management’s new shift system.

With several drivers and conductors in the morning shift taking part in the protest, bus services were affected between 4.30am and 6am. “The management has recently introduced 12-hour shift system which will affect both the staff and the passengers. The employees have to work long hours,” said LPF treasurer K Natarajan.

He also alleged that the management plans to cut down on the number of bus services in the early morning and wanted to operate full bus service from 8am onward. “The cut down on the bus service would affect the passengers across the city, particularly in Central, Egmore, Koyambedu, Perungalathur and Tambaram areas,” he said.

P Balakrishnan, president of the CITU affiliated union, said that the 12-hour shift not only impacts the health of the drivers and conductors in the long run but also increase the risk of accidents. “The drivers should get proper rest between the trips but the MTC wants them to drive 12 hours a day and that, too, continuously. They will be only entitled to their weekly offs. This will only endanger the lives of other motorists on the road and the passengers of the bus,” he said, adding that of the 12 hours, the MTC would pay the wage for eight hours and flat Rs 500 for remaining four hours.

“We are demanding the management to scrap the 12-hour shift and go back to the three-shift model,” he said. A senior MTC official said that the protest did not impact the bus servicein the morning. “The shift was introduced on a trial basisin a few depots. The unions are trying to make an issue out of it,” the official said.

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