The two-day nationwide strike will begin on Wednesday

Industrial activity in Mysore, Mandya and Chamarajanagar is likely to come to a standstill on February 20 and 21 following a two-day national strike called by various trade unions and supported by political parties.

Nearly two lakh workers in micro, small, medium and large industries in the three districts are expected to join the strike heeding the call of their respective trade unions.

However, in a bid to minimise the production loss and to maintain law and order, the Mysore Industries Association (MIA) has appealed to the managements of all industries in the region to declare a compensatory holiday on Wednesday.

“This could be made good or compensated by working on the next weekly holiday so that the net impact of the strike could be restricted to one day,” said Suresh Kumar Jain, general secretary of the MIA.

He said trade unions have sought a two-day strike but it was most likely that only union leaders would participate in the dharna and procession on the second day, while workers would resume duty though the attendance may be low.

In view of the overwhelming support for the strike voiced by various trade unions, the MIA has also urged the police to beef up security in industrial areas and provide protection to industrial units which may resume operations after declaring compensatory holiday on Wednesday, Mr. Jain said.

Other public sector organisations, including those in the insurance and banking sectors, will also join the strike.

The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) representative and general secretary of the State Bank of Mysore Employees Union R. Jagadish told The Hindu that the strike would be total and even officers would join the staff to bring financial operations to a grinding halt for two days.

Though Public Sector Banks (PSBs) are supporting the trade union strike to protest against the “anti-people and anti-workers” policy of the government, employees have their own set of demands that includes their opposition to mergers of PSBs, and an early finalisation of the 10th Bipartite wage settlement with the Indian Banks Association (IBA).

The unions have sought 40 per cent hike in the revised pay and the first round of talks with the IBA will be held on February 22 in Mumbai, Mr. Jagdish said.

But the strike will not impact general customers whose banking transactions are restricted to cash withdrawals as there are more than 600 ATMs in the city to meet cash requirements.

“We will replenish and load ATMs with the maximum possible cash so as to last long enough. Industrialists and entrepreneurs have been informed in advance of the impending strike to ensure that they have adequate cash reserves in hand so that they are not affected during the strike,” Mr. Jagadish added.

The Insurance Corporation Employees’ Union has also supported the strike.