Total shutdown in Kerala, mixed response in other States

Trade unions are demanding higher minimum wages and provision of social security to workers in the unorganised sector.

September 02, 2016 08:32 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:01 pm IST

An all India strike called by major trade unions got under way on Friday. It was total in Kerala and drew mixed response in other States. It received lukewarm response from workers, top Labour Ministry officials in Delhi said

Here are the live updates:

4.30 pm: Around 2,000 nurses stayed away from work following All India Government Nurses Federation’s call to join the strike. Normal life was disrupted in most parts of Odisha too. > Read more

4.15 pm: Normal life was paralysed in Tripura in response to the strike call. State capital Agartala wore a deserted look with public transport vehicles staying off the roads. Government offices, banks, schools and colleges remained closed while business establishments kept their shutters down. CITU activists were picketing before government establishments. They also stopped people from entering offices. Though train services have been totally disrupted, the state government provided police escort to people who were going to the airport.

3.46 pm: Normal life was disrupted in most parts of Odisha too. Train services were affected following ‘rail roko’ by agitators who squatted on the tracks at several places including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Jaleswar, Keonjhargarh and Rayagada, police said.

3.42 pm: Work was also affected in PSUs like Vizag Steel Plant, Bharat Heavy Plate and Vessels Ltd, Hindustan Shipyard, NTPC’s Simhadri Power Plant, Visakhapatnam Port Trust and private industrial units in Visakhapatnam as many of the workers joined the strike.

3.38 pm: In Telangana, banking operations came to a standstill with over 15,000 employees belonging to various banks participating in the general strike.

3.25 pm: The strike is almost complete in Left-ruled Kerala where it got the support of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who courted controversy after supporting the strike on Facebook with BJP hitting out against him.

Public transport vehicles in Kerala stayed off the roads and shops and business establishments downed shutters.

3.20 pm: All India Coal Workers Federation General Secretary (CITU) D.D. Ramanadan said, “Dispatch, production and transport of coal have come to a standstill with operations in CIL subsidiaries BCCL, CCL, ECL and CMPDI badly hit. Around 300 workers have been arrested in Rajmahal and Chitra mines areas.”

3.17 pm: Clearing operations at Reserve Bank are hit with trade union leaders claiming that cheques totalling Rs. 19,000 crore were held up as the staff did not report on duty.

“Clearing services have been impacted. Financial instrument worth Rs. 19,000 crore has been held up,” claimed AIBEA General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam - PTI

3.15 pm: While some states like Kerala and Telangana are badly hit by the strike, the impact is partial in Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra. However, life remains normal in metropolitan cities of Mumbai and Delhi - PTI

3.02 pm: Employees of departments like roadways, electricity, health, corporations held demonstrations at various places in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. At some places, employees claimed the district administration “forcefully” asked roadways employees to ply buses - PTI

2.53 pm: Striking trade union activists of Cochin Port Trust shout 'Navy go back' slogans as the Southern Naval Command deployed 57 service personnel as part of 'Op Himmat' for technical and operational support to the port.

At a rally and public meeting taken out on the port premises, they deplored the naval initiative. "It's undemocratic to deploy military to defeat a trade union strife," said CD Nandakumar, joint union general convenor.

2.45 pm: Normal life was affected in Bihar with autorickshaws and other public vehicles off the roads while banks remained closed. As public transport was not available, passengers, particularly alighting from trains, had a harrowing time reaching their destinations. Schools recorded thin attendance of students in Patna while government as well as private sector employees also had tough time reaching offices. Agitators disrupted train services in Begusarai and Jehanabad. Banks remained shut in major cities like Patna, Munger, Bhagalpur, Hajipur, Muzaffarpur, Purnea, Chapra, Arrah, Biharsharif, Katihar, Begusarai, Samastipur and Gopalganj. NABARD, Regional Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks also remained closed.

AITUC and CITU workers taking out a rally as part of the general strike in Visakhapatnam. Photo: K R Deepak/The Hindu

2.30 pm: The call for nationwide strike against the alleged “anti-labour” policies of the Union Government had a partial impact on the Gurgaon-Manesar-Bawal industrial region. It was mostly the automobile companies — there are an estimated 1,500 small, medium and large automobile factories in this industrial region — that remained affected due to the strike, whereas it was business as usual for more than 2,500 garments and pharmaceutical companies in Gurgaon. > Read more .

2.18 pm: The All India strike call given by central trade unions evoked good response in Kolar and Chickballapur districts on Friday. A peaceful bandh was observed in both the districts. Private and KSRTC buses as well as autos remained off the roads causing inconvenience to the people. A holiday was declared for schools and colleges in these districts as a precautionary measures. Post office and banks downed their shutters. The functionaries of trade unions went in groups to the state government offices and raised slogans in support of strike. They appealed to close the offices following which the staff came out and offices were closed.

2.03 pm: Services including banking and public transport were hit in Haryana, Punjab and UT Chandigarh with employees of various government departments joining one-day nationwide strike to protest against “anti—labour” policies of the government. Employees of departments like roadways, electricity, health, corporations held demonstrations at various places in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. At some places, employees claimed the district administration “forcefully” asked roadways employees to ply buses. The government departments had already warned protesting employees to enforce ‘no work no pay’ policy and had set up control rooms to lodge complaint.

1.39 pm: The strike called by central trade unions evoked a mixed response in this Union Territory. Private buses, autos and other passenger vehicles were off the roads while state-run buses were operated as usual. Shops and establishments downed their shutters. Cinema houses suspended the shows for the day. However, government departments registered normal attendance, official sources said.

1.38 pm: The nation-wide strike called by central trade unions today hit normal life in Odisha with protesters coming on roads and railway tracks affecting the traffic movement all over the state. The trade unions are protesting against what they call anti-worker changes in labour laws and demand improvement in wages. Train services were affected as trade union activists staged rail roko by holding sit-in on tracks at many places including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Jaleswar, Keonjhargarh and Rayagada, police said.

1.04 pm: The CPI(M) on Friday defended the ongoing day-long nationwide strike called by 10 central trade unions (CTUs) over various issues including government’s “anti-labour” reforms, saying the protest is for “each one of us” and that workers’ rights are “no charity“. “Today’s #AllIndiaStrike is for workers (organised and unorganised), farmers, unemployed and for each one of us. “#AllIndiaStrike #Today #Workers #Dignity #Livelihood #RightsNotCharity,” party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said in a series of tweets.

1.03 pm: The AITUC and CITU workers took out a rally as part of the general strike in Visakhapatnam.

12:42 pm: Work at Delhi government hospitals remained adversely affected as over 1,000 nurses in Delhi proceeded on an indefinite strike beginning this Friday demanding higher wages and better working conditions. Nurses on protest were pushed and bundled into buses and take to Parliament Street police station. > Read more

12.37 p.m. : The nation-wide strike called by central trade unions did not have much impact on normal life in Tamil Nadu as transport services and other businesses began the day’s functioning normally. Bus and train services were operated as usual while shops and business establishments remained open. Educational institutions are functioning normally. The ruling AIADMK’s labour wing is not participating in the strike called by ten central unions protesting. > Read more

12.29 p.m.: It was business as usual for public transport in Mumbai despite one—day nationwide strike call given by central trade unions, while it evoked a mixed response in rural Maharashtra. The suburban trains, autorickshaws, taxis and city buses continued to operate normally, without affecting the daily schedule of lakhs of commuters in Mumbai and suburbs. A CPM state unit leader told PTI that there were instances of ‘rasta roko’ (block roads) at various places in rural Maharashtra. > Read more

12:15 pm: “The impact of the nation-wide strike has been minimal in most of the states,” top Labour Ministry official said, adding that “Only in few states such as Kerala, Tripura, Telangana, we have received information that industries have been impacted due to closure of establishments.” > Read more

11.57 am: Banking operations came to standstill in Telangana as over 15,000 employees of various banks participated in the general strike called by trade unions. All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEAP) Joint Secretary B S Rambabu said demonstrations will be held in all the district headquarters along with other trade unions. “Though branches will be open, there is no business taking place in PSU banks. Clearing will also be impacted. However, there will not be any problem with regard to ATMs’ functioning,” Rambabu told PTI .

11.51 am:Our Bidar Correspondent adds : The general strike got up to a slow start, with most offices and schools functioning. Some shops opened late in the new city, but most remained open in the old city. Plying of buses were slightly affected though district level routes run. Autorickshaws were seen plying in the city, though some people were put to much hardship as the drivers refused to ply to all the areas in the city. Shantakka Dande, who works as a house maid, said she could not get a bus from Anadur Wadi on Udgir road and had to ask her cousin to drop her to work on his motorbike. Sharanappa Patil who works at a private school in Bidar, had to walk for a few kilometers before he caught a private bus that took him from Shahapur on Hyderabad road to work. The district federation of labour unions would submit a memorandum to the deputy commissioner’s office in the afternoon.

11.40 am: Maruti plant in Gurgaon not affected by strike, the officials said.

11.35 am : Partial impact of strike call at IMT Manesar, Gurgaon

11.29 am: Bandh affects public transport in Hubballi Dharwad. Although initially few buses were plying in the twin cities they were withdrawn after protest by members of various trade unions. Even the private bus operator Bendre Transport Service has suspended bus services. It was an undeclared holiday for several schools and colleges as parents preferred not to send their children to schools and as school buses didn't operate.

11.23 am: Impact of trade union strike is minimal in most states. Only industrial units in Kerala, Tripura and Telangana are reported to be affected severely so far: Top labour ministry officials

11.18 am: The 24-hour-long strike called by trade unions to oppose the NDA government’s “anti-labour” policies and demand better wages, turned out to be a total shut down in Kerala. While public transport service across the state was not operating, private vehicles were seen on the roads. Barring the BJP’s trade union wing Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), all other leading unions have joined the strike in Kerala. The trade union workers led by former CPI(M) legislator V. Sivankutty blocked the main central garage of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday morning. >Read more

11.17 am: Heavy police deployment for the Trade union strike at Faridabad's BK Chowk. No hooliganism reported so far.

11.16 am: Banks and commercial establishments were closed across Himachal Pradesh on Friday after trade unions of central government employees joined the nationwide strike to protest violation of labour laws and privatisation. Most of the private hotels and hydropower projects, banks and government insurance companies, as well as the state—owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) were badly hit as their employees went on a day—long strike.

11.15 am: Ayyapan, an electrician, arrived in Bengaluru from Kumbakonam early in the morning by train. He was unaware of the strike and is waiting at the KSRTC bus stand at majestic for buses to start at 6 pm. "I heard about the strike on TV but wasn't sure if buses would run or not. Now I have to go to Hospet and the only buses are available from here." Chikkarange Gowda, ASI, Upparpet Outpost Police Station, says there have been no untoward incidents at KSRTC stand since morning and police are on bandobast duty around the stand.

11.04 am : Stray incidents of stoning KSRTC buses reported in Mangaluru. > More

10.43 am : Haryana Roadways buses in Gurgaon not plying. Hundreds of passengers left stranded. No buses in Faridabad either.

10.42 am: An MBA student Akshay arrived in Bengaluru from Allapuzha today morning. "I couldn't get an Ola or Uber, so have to book a railway taxi cab, the driver has asked for Rs 800 to Yelahanka. Its usually half the amount," he said. Priest Solomon Naik who is taking a train to Gowribedannur said autos where over charging. "I was charged 90 Rs. from City Market to the railway station," he said. His brother dropped him till there from his home in Banshankari. Railway taxi driver association drivers all present. No autos at prepaid auto stand, a few operating outside.

10.38 am: More than 2,000 buses in West Bengal, 90 trams are plying in Kolkata, says West Bengal Transport Minister

10.28 am: While all public transport is off roads, business establishments are working normally in Mangaluru.

10.26 am: In Murshidabad which is a Congress stronghold, the TMC supporters hit streets to ensure that no establishment remains closed

10.25 am : West Bengal State Transport Corporation Drivers provided helmets by the government

10.06 am: Attendance in many schools and colleges was less than normal, while the markets have started opening as usual, in Karnataka.

As schools were closed on account of the general strike, children plays cricket in Bengaluru. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

10.05 am: CPI(M) State Sectrary Surjya kanta mishra leading a rally in north Kolkata in support of Bharat Bandh. > Read more

10.04 am: While some IT companies have declared a holiday, it is business as usual for most offices in the city. "My office hasn't arranged transport and has asked us to work from home," said IT employee Prashant M.

RTC unions hold dharna at Khammam bus station on Friday.

09.45 am: "I will reach Dubai at 2 pm, will monitor Bandh situation from there," said West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee before leaving for Rome.

09.44 am: The impact of bandh started reflecting in some of the schools unofficially declaring holiday for pre primary sections in the city, even as there was no official announcement of holiday either by the education department or the district administration.

Members of CITU stage protest near city bus stand in Mysuru on Friday during the bandh. Photo: M.A. Sriramash

09.37 am: CPI(M) MLA and Mayor of Siliguri Municipal Corporation Asok Bhattacharya arrested in Siliguri along with 15 other protesters. "Our people have been arrested without any provocation," says Siliguri Mayor Ashok Bhattacharya.

09.31 am: Today's strike by trade unions is illogical; Government has proactively increased minimum wage by 42 per cent, says Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu

09.27 am: Assistant Commissioner of Police (Manesar) Dharambir said the detained workers were trying to prevent other workers from entering the Maruti company.

09.23 am : Uttar Pradesh roadways employees' strike disrupts normal life; visuals from bus stand.

09.14 am: Thirteen Maruti Workers at IMT Manesar detained by the Gurgaon Police

09.06 am: Schools and colleges in Bengaluru urban district are closed as a precautionary measure.

The BMTC buses parked inside the Bsnashankari depot due to general strike in Bangalore on Friday.

09.04 am: Mixed response to the strike as some shops and commercial establishments were open in Hyderabad. Government buses were off the road in Hyderabad, commuters are left in lurch.

09.03 am: The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation operates 483 of the 1097 schedules.

09.01 am: It seems to be a curious case in West Bengal, as procession was held by Left Parties in support of the strike while the ruling Trinamool Congress took out a procession opposing the strike.

09.00 am: No effect in Bengaluru, cab services normal.

08.50 a.m: Before leaving for Vatican, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said "people of the State do not want Bandh. No impact of Bandh in West Bengal."

08:45 am: This is the fourth all-India strike since the coming together of the central unions in 2009. The earlier ones were in 2010, 2011 and 2015.

08:30 am: What are the striking workers’ demands? - There were five demands in the first all-India strike in 2010, and seven more were added in the subsequent strikes. Among the 12 major demands are the following: minimum wage of not less than Rs. 18,000 per month; stop contractualisation of labour for perennial work, and ensure the payment of same wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers; scrapping of proposed labour law amendments and universal social security for all workers.

08:00 am: Bus services in Bengaluru are expected to be hit as some Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employee unions will be joining the strike.

07:30 am: A bus of North Bengal Surface Transport Corporation attacked in Cooch Behar district in West Bengal. The Bandh near total in Siliguri

07:00 am: Mixed response to trade union Bharat Bandh in West Bengal. 357 police pickets at markets, busy street intersections central business district put up by Kolkata Police. 3000 police personal deployed on roads in Kolkata

06:30 am: Coal production hit in all the 14 underground mines and four open cast projects in Ramagundam of Karimnagar district. All private educational institutions have declared holiday.

A family strands at an empty bus stand in view of the general strike by the trade unions in Khammam on Friday. Photo: G.N. Rao

06:15 am: In Karimnagar, all the RTC buses are confined to their depots as part of nation-wide general strike. All bus stations wore deserted look.

06:00 am: All the central trade unions, except BMS, and the majority of independent trade unions are participating.All private, public sector, and unorganised sector workers, except Railways and non-industrial workers in government NGOs, are expected to join. > Read more

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