Government employees and workers take out rallies, stage dharnas
People faced inconvenience due to strike call given by the employees of the banks and public sector undertakings demanding solution to their long pending problems on Wednesday.
Impact of bandh was also visible in transport network with APSRTC cancelling many express services. Banking operations were hit as employees participated in the strike. Employees of the BSNL staged a protest in front of their office on the Main Road.
Employees of various banks under the aegis of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) staged a dharna in front of the Andhra Bank’s zonal office on the Main Road. Hundreds of employees from various parts of the district joined the agitation and raised slogans against the government. Services were affected in over 500 bank branches in the district due to the agitation.
Under the aegis of the Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU), workers and labourers staged a dharna in front of the Collectorate.
The bandh called by Central trade unions iwas total in the district. Though the bandh did not cripple normal life because a section of APSRTC unions operated services, all employees in banks, insurance, postal and telecommunication, anganwadi workers, municipal contract/outsourcing workers, thousands of jute mill workers and workers in unorganised sector participated in the bandh.
Various workers and employees’ unions affiliated to CITU, AITUC, IFTU, INTUC, and TNTUC took out a massive rally from municipal office to the Collector Office junction where leaders of the unions addressed the gathering. State vice-president P. Roja (CITU), T. Suryanarayana , CITU district general secretary, V. Krishnam Raju (AITUC), K. Sanyasi Rao (IFTU), M. Srinivas Rao (INTUC), K. Narayana Rao (Postal), B. Sankar Rao (AIBEA), Satynarayana Raju (Insurance) and others spoke. They demanded that the government withdraw FDI in retail market, control price rise, stop privatisation of profit-making public sector units, social security to workers in unorganised sector, and fix Rs. 10,000 as minimum wages to workers.
Several government offices, banks and industries remained closed on Wednesday with the employees participating in the two-day general strike to oppose the Union government’s policies. Banking activities were completely disrupted due to strike. Industrial production was badly affected in industries such as Aurobindo Pharma, Andhra Organics, Varam Power Project and others.
Activists of Left parties, CITU and other trade unions formed human chain and took out rallies. CPI(M) leader Bhaviri Krishnamurthy, Panchadi Paparao, CITU leaders D. Govinda Rao, P. Tejeswara Rao and others led the agitations in the district.
Mr. Govinda Rao said the government should fix Rs.10,000 as minimum salary and ceiling on PF and ESI facilities should be removed. He alleged that the government was adopting anti-people and anti-worker policies and taking steps only to strengthen the hands of industrialists.
Andhra Pradesh Grameen Vikas Bank Employees Union regional secretary Gorla Malleswara Rao asked the government to shun its disinvestment policy and merger of banks. “Social Security Fund should be created to protect the interest of workers and trade union laws should be implemented strictly,” he demanded.