Banking services were hit and most autorickshaws kept off the roads while many heavy industries remained closed in Bangalore during the all-India strike jointly called by nine trade unions on Tuesday to protest against price rise and seeking employment protection, among others.
However, life remained unaffected as educational institutions, private establishments, government offices, public transport and business establishments functioned as usual. Trade unionists termed the strike a “success” since most industries responded positively.
With a majority of autos joining the strike, commuters, especially those arriving from other places had to struggle to reach their destinations from railway station and central bus station. Some commuters at railway station complained that they were being forced to shell out exorbitant amounts.
Banking services were affected in State Bank's associate banks and a number of other banks, as employees' affiliated to All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) joined the strike. “Officers cooperated with us by not performing clerical duties. With an exception to State Bank of India, the strike was a success in all public sector banks. Employees of some private banks including HSBC, ING Vysya and Karnataka Banks too joined the strike,” said AIBEA State general secretary H. Vasanth Rai.
The strike also affected a large number of industries in Bangalore, especially the public sector undertakings. Employees abstained from work in BSNL, HAL, ITI, BEL and HMT. “Private sector industrial units also responded positively since heavy industries such as Federal Moghul, Kennametal, ITC, Bosch, Escorts, Widia, L&T and others also participated,” Bangalore district CITU president Meenakshi Sundaram, said.
Meanwhile, flight services in Bangalore remained normal except on the Kolkata route, a Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL) spokesperson said. However, a section of the employees of LSG Chef, airline caterers, staged a demonstration in the airport premises.
Tuesday also witnessed many protests and processions across the city in which hundreds of employees took part. The biggest procession was taken out from Mysore Bank Circle to Town Hall in which a few thousands employees, representing various industry took part.
About 5,000 garment industry workers, employed in units along Mysore Road, took part in the industrial strike. They took out a march and held a meeting near BHEL factory on Mysore Road. The procession was led by Yamuna, Rukmini, Mallika, Rathnamma and Lalitha of the Garment and Textile Workers Union. Union Vice-President Jayaram addressed the workers.
The members of Karnataka Workers Union also staged a protest in front of the State Labour Commissioner's office here while the Insurance Corporation Employees' Union held a demonstration in front of LIC building here against the Union Government's “anti-people” policies.
Protest and processions were also taken out in the industrial belt of Hoskote, Jigani, Nelamangala, Bommasandra, Peenya, Jalahalli and Electronic City. According to AITUC General Secretary H.V. Ananthasubba Rao, the response to the strike had been good