The strike call given by 11 trade unions country wide had partial impact in Tamil Nadu as a majority of shops remained open and transport services plied normally.
However, banking services were hit hard as most public and private sector banks remained closed.
The United Form of Bank Unions, an association representing the banking community, had said it would join the strike call given by the Trade Unions.
City buses and auto-rickshaws plied as usual. Partial inter-city services were operated from Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus, sources said.
Members of agitating workers union including CITU and all India Bank Employees Association staged a demonstration in Chennai as part of the strike call.
A report from Madurai said normal life was not affected in south Tamil Nadu, with shops and hotels remaining open and buses operating normal services and autorickshaws plying as usual. All central government offices functioned with a handful of officials, it said.
In Madurai city, the strike call paralysed working in central government establishments, including banks and Insurance companies.
Buses were operated from the city to other parts of Tamil Nadu, but not to Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi as they were stopped at the border.
In Tiruchirapalli, all workers at the ordnance factory stayed away from work, it said, adding work at Bharat Heavy Electricals was also paralysed due to the strike call.
Railway officials said train services were run on schedule.