The talks held by the government with the representatives of 11 Central trade unions here on Monday night to urge the unions to withdraw the February 20, 21 nation-wide strike call has failed and the unions have announced that the protest will be held as scheduled.

INTUC president G. Sanjeeva Reddy, who participated in the talks, told The Hindu that the government representatives — Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge — had wanted the unions to postpone the strike and said their demands could be discussed later in detail.

“However we told the government that it should at least accept some of the 10 demands put forth by us. As the government was not willing to further discuss any of the demands, the talks failed and we have no option except to go ahead with the strike as announced,” he said.

The trade unions will meet in Delhi today to discuss how to successfully organise the stir, Mr. Reddy said.

The trade unions have given notice for a two-day strike on February 20 and 21 protesting the price rise, inflation, poor employment generation, lack of adequate social security for unorganised sector workers, among other things.