Chennai

Bandh brings work at Central govt. offices, PSUs to a halt

Members of various trade unions and independent organisations taking part in a protest on Anna Salai.

Members of various trade unions and independent organisations taking part in a protest on Anna Salai.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

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Police remove agitators from Anna Salai, detain top trade union leaders

Work at Central government offices in the city was crippled on Wednesday as most employees were on strike in view of the bandh called by trade unions.

It is estimated that over 30,000 employees participated in the strike across the city.

The participation in the strike was 100% in post offices, nationalised banks, BSNL offices, Income Tax offices in Nungambakkam and Tambaram, Life Insurance Corporation offices, Indian Council of Medical Research, Heavy Vehicles Factory and other public sector undertakings. Staff of Southern Railway, Integral Coach Factory and Kalpakkam power plant also staged demonstrations reiterating their charter of demands.

At Anna Salai, leaders of central trade unions (CTUs) such as Centre of Indian Trade Unions(CITU), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) and unorganised workers’ unions gathered and blocked the road. The activists squatted on the road and shouted slogans seeking reversal of anti-worker, anti-people and anti-national policies of the Modi government.

LPF General Secretary M. Shanmugam said the government, after failing to tackle a crisis-ridden economy, was busy privatising and selling public sector undertakings, natural resources and other national assets, a move that was detrimental to national interest and national development.

Protesters had a heated exchange with the police when the latter attempted to remove them from Anna Salai. Police forcibly removed them and bundled them into vehicles. Mr. Shanmugam and CITU leader A.Soundararjan were detained by the police. Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol. Thirumavalan was also detained as he and his party members staged a protest on Anna Salai.

Employees of banks and BSNL had their agitation near Chennai Collectorate. C.H. Venkatachalam, All India Bank Employees' Association General Secretary, said over 8 lakh cheque transactions were affected in the city due to the strike. Though banks were open, staff did not attend to their duties and banking services were completely crippled.

M.Durai Pandian, general secretary of confederation of Central government employees and workers’ union said that over one lakh Central government employees participated in the strike all over Tamil Nadu.

In Tiruvottiyur, CPI(M) Central committee member G.Ramakrishnan with members of CITU took out a procession towards the post office. They were later detained by the police. Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S.Alagiri also took part in the agitation by members of a labour union before Perambur Loco Works.

The strike was partial in Shastri Bhavan, Rajaji Bhavan and Accountant General Office.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 9:25:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/bandh-brings-work-at-central-govt-offices-psus-to-a-halt/article30518174.ece

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