The Tamil Nadu State Transport employees’ strike has been called off. This is a huge relief for many in the state who’ve been stranded by the lack of bus services. The strike, which began on May 14 continued for the next two days, and was called off only after the state government agreed to pay the arrears in the employees’ monetary benefits.

After seven hours of talks, representatives of various trade unions said the government has agreed to pay Rs 1,250 crore immediately for benefits like gratuity to retired employees. The remaining Rs 700 crore will be paid within the next three months.

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The government agreed to pay Rs 400 crore to clear the arrears for leave etc. The payment for this would be made within a week. According to the representatives, the government said it will announce how money will be deducted from the employees’ salaries for provident fund and other benefits.

Further talks are to be held on revising the wages of employees. This is expected to take place on May 24 and the Transport Secretary and the Transport Minister are expected to be part of it, reported The New Indian Express.

After commuters across the state were affected by the strike, the Madurai branch of the Madras High Court directed the workers to return to duty.The Bench acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition by a lawyer to invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act against the strike.

Even though the employees and the government have struck a deal, bus services across the state will resume only after a few days, According to various reports, bus service in the state will be fully functional on May 18.