Adopting a tough stand, the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) and suspended its striking employees.
The secretariat staff had launched an indefinite strike demanding, among other things, restoration of curtailed benefits, including a rollback in the cut in pension.
Work in government offices was paralysed as only 12 per cent staff reported for duty.
Over 300 persons were arrested from various parts of the state for obstructing employees from attending office, police said.
Describing the strike as 'irresponsible', the government said it would not adopt a 'soft approach' as it did in the past.
It has decided to recruit temporary staff to fill the vacant posts arising out of the suspensions.
The recruits would come from the rolls in employment exchanges. They would be expected to join duty from July 4, an official release in Chennai said.
Meanwhile, a divisional bench of the Madras high court on Wednesday adjourned to July 8 the hearing of petitions by various employee associations challenging the government order on curtailing pension and other benefits.