The dawn-to-dusk strike called by some major trade unions on Tuesday against the UPA government's labour policies and price rise disrupted the functioning of industries, banks and insurance offices, besides road transport and flight operations throughout the country.

Central trade unions including the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), the Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) and the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) participated in the strike.

They said labour laws had been blatantly violated, the government was disinvesting in profit-making public sector undertakings, and there was large-scale retrenchment of workers. A joint statement issued by the unions said the strike affected the metropolitan cities. Not only West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, even Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other States responded to the strike call.

A number of flights were cancelled due to the strike in the petroleum sector. More than 10 crore workers and employees participated in the protest. Employees in several sectors — coal, power, telecommunications, defence and petroleum; post offices, railway workshops, State government offices, anganwadis and construction industries — positively responded to the strike call, AITUC general secretary Gurudas Dasgupta told The Hindu.

He warned that the unions would organise a march to Parliament in February next.