Members of 10 central trade unions across India are on a one-day nationwide strike on Wednesday to protest the "anti-workers" policies of the union government.
This includes members of AITUC, INTUC, CITU, AICCTU, CUCC, SEWA and LPF, along with various sectoral independent federations, according to AITUC General Secretary Amarjeet Kaur.
Nearly 25 crore people are said to be taking part in this all-India strike.
Here are more updates:
Trade unions’ strike hits postal services in Nagaland
Postal services were affected in Nagaland due to the strike called by trade unions, even as it didn’t have any impact on normal life with vehicles plying and markets remaining open.
Under the banner of All India Postal Employees Union (AIPEU), the staff demonstrated outside post offices across the state, including the head post office in state capital, demanding scraping of the New Pension Scheme and raising a host of other issues.
15 lakh power sector employees, engineers on strike: AIPEF
About 15 lakh power sector employees and engineers across the country went on strike on Wednesday in support of ‘Bharat Bandh’ call given by 10 central trade unions.
“About 1.5 million power sector employees and engineers, including 25,000 in UP, are on the boycott/strike which is a success,” Chairman of All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF), Shailendra Dubey told PTI.
The strike call was given by National Co-ordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE), a united platform of unions and federations of electricity employees and engineers of the country.
Banking services partially hit in Gujarat
Banking services partially hit in Gujarat Ahmedabad, Jan 8 (PTI) Banking services were partially hit in Gujarat
Transport services are absolutely normal across the state while offices of various business establishments also remained open.
Although trade unions claimed that factory production was hit in many parts of Gujarat, industrialists said it was business as usual.
“Banking services in Gujarat were partially hit as employees associated with All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA) joined the strike,” said Dhiraj Desai, general secretary of Bank of Baroda Employees Union.
As a result, some nationalised banks are either shut or are only partially functional, he added.
Strike affects mining activities in Jharkhand
Mining activities in Jharkhand were affected due to the general strike on Wednesday, claimed trade union leaders, even as officials asserted that situation was normal in the sector.
The strike, however, did not impact normal life in the state with public transport plying as usual and markets and other commercial establishments operating normally.
Rashtriya Colliery Mazdoor Sangh leader A K Jha claimed that workers did not turn up for duty affecting mining activities in the state. Dismissing the claim, officials said there was no impact of the strike in the sector.
Banking services hit in Telangana
Banking services across Telangana were severely hit by the nationwide strike called by various trade unions protesting the central government’s ‘anti-people’ policies on Wednesday.
Operations in all public sector banks except SBI were affected.
However, most of the shops and business establishments were open while transport services remained unaffected.
The strike by as many as three lakh employees and workers was underway with the participation of members of various trade unions in the state.
Normal life hit in Kozhikode
Normal ife has been hit in Kozhikode district following the 24-hour nationwide strike called by various trade unions against the “anti- people” policies of the BJP led government at the Centre on Wednesday.
Shops and commercial establishments are remaining shut despite the Kerala Vyapari Vyvavasi Ekopana Samiti dissociating with the general strike. The busy commercial streets at Palayam and Big Bazar in the city wore a deserted look. Similarly no shops have opened on Sweet Meat (S.M) Street and Moideen Palli Road.
Except for private vehicles and mostly motorbikes, public transportation has been affected in the city as well as mofussil towns. However train services have not been disrupted.
Educational institutions have been given a holiday and Calicut University has postponed all examinations scheduled for the day.
Tepid impact of trade union strike in Karnataka
The nationwide strike had no effect on normal life in the city and other parts of Karnataka, with most of the vehicles including government buses plying on Wednesday.
While government buses including the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) were plying as usual, train services remained unaffected.
Schools, colleges and business establishments also functioned.
However, there was some impact of the strike at the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee yards where the labourers did not turn up.
In Mangaluru, inter-state services of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation were suspended.
Some miscreants pelted a Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation bus with stones in Madikeri town in Kodagu district this morning.
According to an AITUC office bearer Vijay Bhaskar, a rally will be taken out from the Town Hall to the Freedom Park in Bengaluru. There will also be protests, demonstrations and march in different parts of the State.
Mixed response in Rajasthan
The nationwide strike evoked a mixed response in Rajasthan during morning hours on Wednesday.
Banking and roadways services were partially affected as members of trade unions joined the strike.
A demonstration was held in front of the LIC Building in Jaipur.
Members of the banking sector and LIC participated in the demonstration, Mahesh Mishra, a representative of bank employees union, said.
Rajasthan roadways employees affiliated with CITU also participated in the ‘Bharat bandh’
“Of the total employees, there are nearly 3,000 employees affiliated with CITU in roadways who are participating in the Bharat bandh. The strike’s impact is on buses’ operations in Churu, Ganganagar, Sikar,” Kishan Singh Rathore, general secretary of Rajasthan roadways workers’ union (CITU), claimed.
However in Jaipur, most of the markets opened as usual and there was not much impact on public transport services.
Trade unions’ strike hits normal life in Odisha
Normal life was disrupted across Odisha on Wednesday due to the country-wide general strike.
Train and bus services were hit in several parts of the State with trade union activists, backed by supporters of the Left parties and the Congress, blocking railway tracks and roads in support of the 24-hour strike.
Shops and business establishments remained shut in most parts of the State. Educational institutes were also closed in many districts.
Banking operations were hit, while the strikers kept emergency services such as hospitals and ambulances out of the purview. The State government had issued prior directive for its employees to reach their respective offices early.
Elaborate security arrangements were made at many places, including State capital Bhubaneswar to prevent any untoward incident during the strike.
Bhubaneswar Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Anup Sahoo said 15 platoons(each platoon has 33 personnel) have been deployed to maintain law and order during the strike.
Adequate force deployment has been made near important government buildings such as Lok Seva Bhavan. The strikers staged demonstrations at Master Canteen, Jaydev Vihar, Acharya Vihar, Rasulgarh, Patia, Vani Vihar square and other areas, police said.
The strike has been peaceful so far with no untoward incident reported from any part of the state, a senior police officer said.
A large number of passengers were stranded at several places as more than 15 trains were stuck due to blockades at Talcher, Bhubaneswar, Bhadrak, Keonjhargarh, Brahmapur, Puri and Cuttack, a railway official said.
Many passengers were also stranded at bus stands in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Balssore, Bhadrak, Khurda and Jagatsinghpur, among others, police said.
As a precautionary measure, shools were closed in Kandhamal, Ganjam, Dhenkanal, Khurda, Bhadrak, Gajapati, Jagatsinghpur, Rayagada, Jharsuguda, Nayagarh, Boudh, Jajpur, Malkargiri, Kendrapara and Kalahandi districts, sources said.
Describing the strike as a complete success, state Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik said people have extended support to the agitation spontaneously as they are fed up with the “anti-labour and anti-farmer” policies of the BJP-led government at the Centre.
While prices of all commodities have sky-rocketed, educated youth are not getting employment because of the faulty policies of the Narendra Modi government which has destroyed the economy of the country, he alleged.
Bharat bandh takes off in Mumbai
Transport services in the country’s financial capital have remained unaffected till Wednesday forenoon.
“Suburban locals on all three lines are running normally, except minor delays,” said officials.
Similarly, Metro and Monorail services are running smoothly, sources in MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority) said.
Officials of BEST (Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport), which operates a fleet of buses in Mumbai, its extended suburbs and Navi Mumbai, said buses are running as per schedule.
Trade unions’ strike hits road, rail traffic in parts of Bengal
Road and rail blockades were reported from several parts of West Bengal on Wednesday as trade union activists along with Left and Congress supporters picketed in support of the 24-hour general strike against the Centre’s “anti-people” policies.
The strikers took out rallies in parts of the State and blocked roads and railway tracks in North 24 Parganas district. But police removed them to ensure movement of vehicles without hitch.
In Kolkata, government buses were plying normally but the number of private buses was less in the early hours. Metro services were normal in the city and auto-rickshaws and taxis were also seen on the roads.
Heavy police deployment was seen in several areas of the city, including in Tollygunge, Behala, Esplanade and Jadavpur.
In some areas of north Bengal, the Trinamool Congress took out rallies opposing the strike and urged people to maintain normalcy.
Trade union strike total in Kannur and Kasargod districts
The nation-wide strike called by the trade unions on Wednesday against the alleged ‘anti-people’ policies of the Central government was total in Kannur and Kasargod districts.
Most of the traders and shopkeepers extended their support to the strike. Every shop and business establishments remained closed and vehicles, including private and KSRTC buses and autorickshaws, remained off the road.