"There will be an interim order restraining the transport workers, specially, the drivers and conductors, from taking recourse to strike", the court said.
Ten trade unions had announced launching the indefinite strike yesterday after their talks with the government over a key demand on a "factor" determining wage structure failed.
Hours after the Madras High Court ordered them to call of the strike, the transport corporation unions on Friday said their agitation would continue till their demands on wage revision were met by the Tamil Nadu government.
MR Vijayabhaskar, TN Transport Minister, said, "Appeal to employees to come back for duty, the honorable court has also asked them to come back". Chief Justice Indira Banerjee had said that workers could not go on such sudden strikes without any prior intimation.
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Reading out a statement before reporters, he said the government had proposed a "very good" wage revision agreement despite financial issues faced by the transport corporations.
Later, the government also issued an ultimatum, asking the workers to return to work, else it will not hesitate to take action as per law.
'Those who don't come to work and cause hardship to the public must face the consequences, ' the court told the drivers.
M. Shanmugam of the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), who backed the Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), said after the meeting, "While our plea was for a 2.57% wage hike, the government said it was not acceptable and insisted on a 2.44% hike".
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"The alternative measures that are being taken by the government will only worsen the problem". The unions want a 2.57 per cent hike but the government is willing to increase salaries by 2.44 per cent.
Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) leader A. Soundarrajan said they were ready for talks and regretted that people will suffer.
Sounderrajan, who participated in talks with government on Thursday, on Friday claimed that "not even 10 percent" of buses were being operated across the state.
Employees affiliated to ruling AIADMK-backed Anna Thozhirsanga Peravai were plying buses, but reports reaching here said a large number of vehicles were off the road in different parts of the state like Chennai, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Madurai among others. Several daily commuters are stranded on the bus stand in Chennai due to the strike.
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Police were posted at bus depots to prevent any untoward incidents.