Movement of buses and trains not affected

Normal life was not affected in Madurai district on account of the 48-hour general strike called by various trade unions that began here on Wednesday. However, transactions in banking and insurance were largely affected as most of the employees took part in the strike.

Public transport services, including buses and auto-rickshaws, and movement of trains and trucks were not affected. Though higher number of employees of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited took part in the strike, the impact of strike was relatively less in the Department of Posts, the police said.

Among the State Government departments, more number of employees of Revenue Department and Tamil Nadu Electricity Board took part in the strike.

Members of Centre of Indian Trade Unions along with Labour Progressive Front and Indian National Trade Union Congress took out a rally from Koodal Azhagar Perumal Temple that converged at the North Masi Street-West Masi Street junction where they staged a demonstration. The members raised slogans against the Centre demanding to control price rise and ensure job security for the working force.

They wanted the Government to implement Labour laws strictly and take steps for providing social security for all the workers of the unorganised sector. Among other demands were that the Centre and State should give up disinvestment of public sector units and to cancel contract system in jobs that were permanent in nature.

Madurai South Assembly Constituency, and leaders of various trade unions, B. Vikraman, V. Pitchai, N. Bose, K.S.C. Alphone Raja, K.G.S. Kumar and Rajasekaran, took part in the demonstration.

Fighting for the same demands, the member of All India Trade Union Congress staged a dharna in front of railway junction. They were led by the congress leader, Nandasingh.

Protest demonstrations were held by different associations at various places.

According to M. Sundarajan, convenor of Union Forum of Bank Unions, nearly 4000 bank staff participated in the strike. “We take part in the strike in support of all trade unions that condemn the price rise, against labour law amendment, privatisation of public sector and several others”, he said. Nearly 500 bank staff also converged in front of Canara Bank’s Circle Office and staged a demonstration.

Nearly 800 members of Insurance Corporation Employee’s Union in Madurai Division from six southern districts in Tamil Nadu and 27 branches of Life Insurance Corporation took part in the strike.

“We oppose the proposal to hike Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from 26 percent to 44 percent. The Union Government should withdraw the proposed Insurance Law Amendment Bill”, said N. Sureshkumar, general secretary of Insurance Corporation Employee’s Union.

“A parliamentary standing committee had already advised against FDI in Indian insurance companies and that domestic capital could be acquired. But, the government is taking all possible efforts to pass the bill”, he added.

The banks are also likely to remain closed on Thursday also.

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