Nearly 589 members of various trade unions like AITUC, CITU, INTUC and AICCTU were arrested in Thanjavur district on Tuesday when they tried to picket and stop buses at various places as part of the nationwide strike called by the joint action committee of central trade unions to protest the rise in price of essential commodities and the ``anti-people'' policies of the Central government.

Near the bus stand here, 200 members led by C. Chandrakumar of the AITUC and Manoharan of the CITU were arrested when they squatted on the road and stopped buses. Similar protests were held at Sethubavachathiram, Peravurani, Pattukottai and Kumbakonam areas.

The demonstrators' demanded implementation of labour laws and creation of national fund for social security of the people working in unorganised sector. They also protested against selling of shares of public sector companies.

The police also arrested 55 employees of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board who participated in a demonstration without permission at Thanjavur. Bank employees too staged a demonstration near Pangal building.

Tiruvarur

Similar agitations were held at nearly 15 places, including Tiruvarur, Thiruthuraipoondi, Needamangalam, Mannargudi and Peralam in Tiruvarur district . The police arrested 600 persons in the district. In Tiruvarur town, the agitation was led by G. Palanivelu of the CITU and Vedhaiyan of the AITUC.

Nagapattinam

The nation-wide strike called by government employees unions and various trade unions across political affiliations witnessed participation from over 150 people here in Mayiladuthurai and Nagapattinam.

The strike was marked by blockade of the Tirunelveli Passenger here at 11 a.m. in Mayiladuthurai.

The strike in the district was led by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). At Nagapattinam, blockades were staged at the head post office. Similarly, the district was littered with demonstrations and blockades.

Karaikal

Strike in Karaikal witnessed participation, especially from women members of the Government Employees Association. Employees of nationalised banks and State government employees unions participated in the strike, called by various trade unions against price rise, disinvestment of Public Sector Undertakings and violation of labour laws across the country.

Karur

A total of 287 persons, including 84 women were arrested when they attempted to picket Central government offices here on Tuesday .

Trade union members belonging to various affiliated parties gathered near the Kamarajar Statue and took out a procession to the RMS post office near the bus stand where they attempted to block road when the police intervened and chased them away.

The arrested included CITU district secretary G. Jeevanandam, trade union leaders Ambalavanan and Ramachandran. All those arrested were later released in the evening.

Members of the Tamil Nadu Government Employees Association staged a demonstration in front of the taluk office at the Jawahar Bazar area and association district secretary Subramanian led the demonstration. Trade union members belonging to various governmental agencies and public sector undertakings staged similar agitations in front of their offices.

Demonstrations were held near the TNEB Superintending Office at Kovai Road, LIC of India Branch and the Head Post Office. In the evening, the Tamil Nadu Aaramba Palli Asiriyar Koottani staged a demonstration in front of the Taluk Office.

As regards functioning of the governmental services, operations were partially affected in about 18 banks while in another 20, the strike did not hit hard the operations.

An estimated 300 of the 500 postal employees reported for work in the district. Educational institutions, Collectorate and other State government offices functioned routinely.

Perambalur

The general strike did not impact on normal life in Perambalur district. Government offices and educational institutions functioned normally though the functions of banks were affected.

About 97 members of various trade unions, led by Venugopal, district president, AITUC, were taken into custody when they resorted to a road blockade in Perambalur town to highlight their demands. All the arrested were later released, police said.

Ariyalur

Over 200 members of the CITU and AITUC were arrested in the district after they attempted to indulge in picketing in Ariyalur, Udayarpalayam and Jayamkondam.

All those arrested were later released. The strike did not affect normal life, police sources said.