Coimbatore: Several transport workers affiliated to unions have decided to boycott work tomorrow, condemning the Centre’s move to amend the motor vehicles Act.
Representatives of the unions said the amendment to the act would be detrimental to the workers as it would lead to the corporatisation of the sector.

Members of autorickshaw, taxi, call taxi, maxi cab workers unions, spare parts dealers and workshop owners will participate in the protest, union representatives said.

S Moorthy, general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Road Transport Workers Union, said the motor vehicles (amendment) bill will lead to the privatisation of every procedure connected with motor vehicles such as registration, obtaining fitness certificate and licence. “We demand that the centre withdraw the amendment. About 10 lakh vehicles across Tamil Nadu will stay off the roads on Tuesday. It will cause a loss of Rs 100 crore to the state. We want the Centre to bring petrol and diesel under the ambit of GST. Also, the toll fares are irregular across the country. They should be regulated,” he said.

Workers unions such as CITU, AITUC, AICCTU and HMS will come together for the protest and as a result, in Coimbatore alone, about 50,000 vehicles will stay off the roads, Moorthy said.

General secretary of the Coimbatore District Auto Workers Union PK Sugumaran said the bill will adversely impact all workers associates such as mechanics, drivers and spare parts dealers. “The amendment will pave way for corporatisation of the sector. It will severely affect small players such as auto rickshaw drivers, mechanics and spare parts dealers,” he said.

“As many as 12,500 autorickshaws will keep off the roads in the city. Our members will stage a protest near Thiruvalluvar Bus Stand at Gandhipuram,” Sugumaran added.

Other unions will stage a protest near the Town Hall.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill introduced in 2016 amends the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988. It aims to bring about changes to several facets such as third party insurance and road safety. While the bill has been cleared by Lok Sabha, it is yet to be passed in Rajya Sabha.

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