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General strike evokes mixed response, affects PSU banks

BHUBANESWAR, 08/01/2019: Construction and other labourers hold their association flag and placards as they are picketing at the Rajmahal square and blocked traffic on All India Trade Union’s strike day one in Bhubaneswar. Photo: Biswaranjan Rout   | Photo Credit: BiswaranjanRout

The two-day general strike call issued by 10 central trade unions evoked a mixed response in different parts of the country on Tuesday.

In Mumbai, Kerala, parts of Karnataka, West Bengal and Odisha, public transport was affected, and commuters were hit. According to unions, steel and coal production units in parts of the country were affected, with the strike also impacting several industrial belts and engineering clusters. Banking operations in some public sector banks were affected, as well as postal and insurance services. Rallies and demonstrations were carried out in many places.

‘Indication of anger’

“The active participation of the workers in the strike is a clear indication of the extent of anger and resentment of the workers against the government’s policies,” said the Centre of Indian Trade Unions in a statement, claiming that 20 crore workers participated.

Labour power: (Clockwise from top) Workers holding a demonstration during a strike called by central trade unions in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday; A protest rally in Bengaluru and a railway track being blocked in Palakkad.

Labour power: (Clockwise from top) Workers holding a demonstration during a strike called by central trade unions in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday; A protest rally in Bengaluru and a railway track being blocked in Palakkad.   | Photo Credit: K_K_Mustafah

 

Banking operations were hit in 19 public sector banks, as employee unions joined the strike, even while officer unions did not participate.

In Mumbai, the national strike coincided with an indefinite strike by 32,000 employees of the city’s civic transport undertaking, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST). With the strike affecting nearly 25 lakh daily commuters, the State government was forced to invoke the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) against them.

In Kerala, public transport was affected as buses kept off the roads. Unlike previous shutdowns, traders kept their shops open at several places, leading to tension in some areas.

People had to rely on private vehicles to commute. At the State Secretariat, only around 100 employees reported for duty. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his Cabinet colleagues did not turn up.

Bengaluru / Karnataka : Members of the Joint Commitee of Indian Trade Unions took out a protest rally from Town Hall to Freedom park in Bengaluru on 08, January 2019. A two-day nationwide strike called by 10 central trade unions began on Tuesday to protest against the Union government’s “anti-worker, anti-national” policies, including unilateral labour law reforms, privatisation of public sector entities, policies encouraging contract work and 'destroying' job security, and the proposed amendment to the Trade Union Act. Photo: V Sreenivasa Murthy/ The Hindu

Bengaluru / Karnataka : Members of the Joint Commitee of Indian Trade Unions took out a protest rally from Town Hall to Freedom park in Bengaluru on 08, January 2019. A two-day nationwide strike called by 10 central trade unions began on Tuesday to protest against the Union government’s “anti-worker, anti-national” policies, including unilateral labour law reforms, privatisation of public sector entities, policies encouraging contract work and 'destroying' job security, and the proposed amendment to the Trade Union Act. Photo: V Sreenivasa Murthy/ The Hindu   | Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

 

In West Bengal, there were stray incidents of violence, including stone-pelting at a school bus and vandalism in a few places. Strike supporters burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and burnt tyres in some parts of the State.

As many as 22 policemen were injured in Rajasthan following clashes at the manufacturing plant of a Japanese company as workers, who were supporting the stir, tried to enter its premises, police said. Union leaders claimed that 50 workers were injured.

(With PTI inputs)


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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 5:24:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/general-strike-evokes-mixed-response-affects-psu-banks/article25943754.ece

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