After the trade unions threatened to intensify protest over delay in the 14th wage settlement talks, the state transport department has invited the unions for talks on December 29. A trade union leader said the talks are scheduled for December 29. “All TUs including DMK-led LPF, CITU and AITUC would hold a consultation meeting on December 28 to finalise on the stand to be adopted at the talks,” he said. The employees of the eight transport corporations were upset over the inordinate delay in the 14th wage settlement agreement with the 13th wage agreement expiring on August 31, 2019. The wage settlement talks remain a non-starter, even after the DMK government assumed office seven months ago. Besides the wage agreement, the other major demands include pending ‘baata’ to the tune of Rs 27 crore, non-payment of the workers’ contribution towards employees’ state insurance (ESI) and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) premium of about Rs 10,000 crore and restoration of the old pension scheme. The DMK had promised to settle the demands in the election manifesto. The unions have also demanded that the government take over the losses suffered by the corporation as it is operating the buses at low fares for the benefit of the public.