Several members of unions court arrest in different places

The countrywide general strike called by a host of Central trade unions on Tuesday, protesting against price rise and violation of labour laws, passed without any untoward incident in the State.

Several members of the unions courted arrest in different places. According to the police, 750 persons belonging to the trade unions, mostly to the CITU (Centre of Indian Trade Unions), were arrested when they attempted to enter Chennai Central station. They were released in the evening.

A joint statement by leaders of the Central unions said three lakh workers of textile units at Tirupur took part in the strike. They claimed that 90 per cent of workers in HVF factory at Avadi and 60 per cent of those in BHEL, Tiruchi, did not attend work.

“The strike was total at Kalpakkam Atomic Power Station. The contract workers in Neyveli Lignite Corporation participated in the strike,” they said.

All India Bank Employees Association general secretary C.H. Venkatachalam said around 45,000 bank employees participated in the strike. “Banks remained open because officers did not take part in the strike. They offered support. But, there was no transaction today.”

All India Co-Operative Bank Employees' Federation general secretary P. Balakrishnan said 10,000 bank workers went on strike.

Seven flights cancelled

Seven flights each (arrival and departure) on the Chennai-Kolkata sector were cancelled owing to the strike. Airport sources said the cancelled flights on the arrival schedule included three Indigo airlines flights; two belonging to Jet airways and one each of Sahara and Spicejet.

There was a minor delay in departure of flights to Kerala, but the operations were not cancelled, officials said.

Tamil Nadu Government Employees Association general secretary R. Srinivasan said day-to-day work in district administration across the State was crippled because of the strike.

One lakh employees in the district headquarters, commercial tax offices, Social Welfare Department, Education Department and district courts participated in the strike.

A senior official of the State government said the response from government employees was lukewarm. There was no impact on the functioning of the government.