Kerala

Strike brings life in Palakkad to standstill

The usually crowded stadium bus stand in Palakkad wears a deserted looks following the all-India strike called by the joint council of various central trade unions on Monday and Tuesday.

The usually crowded stadium bus stand in Palakkad wears a deserted looks following the all-India strike called by the joint council of various central trade unions on Monday and Tuesday. | Photo Credit: K. K. MUSTAFAH

Normal life came to a standstill across the district on the first day of a two-day national strike called by the trade unions in protest against the Central government policies on Monday. Public transport and business establishments did not work. The strike was near total across the district.

Traders, however, said that the two-day strike would affect them badly. Although the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) had announced that they would open the shops, very few traders raised their shutters. Only a handful of bakeries and vegetable shops were open in Palakkad town.

Almost all restaurants remained closed in the town. Most canteens attached to hospitals had a heavy rush for lunch. Only some private vehicles were seen plying through the town.

The strike was near total in rural areas also. Although bank employees struck work, many of them had to complete office work as the financial year end was approaching.

The strike was total in the industrial sector at Kanjikode, in spite of protests by the Kanjikode Industrial Forum against the strike. Most units at KINFRA remained closed. CITU workers stopped the employees who came for work in the morning.

Employees at Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) staged a satyagraha in front of the unit at Kanjikode, expressing solidarity with the national strike. The employees did not join the strike as they were proscribed from striking by a Central government ordinance.

The Central government had, on June 30 last year, banned the employees of BEML from striking through the Essential Defence Service Ordinance 2021.

BEML employees have been on an indefinite dharna for the past 446 days in protest against the government move to disinvest in the profit making public sector company.

Private vehicles were stopped at some places on the National Highway. The Lorry Owners Federation workers at Marutharoad blocked the National Highway for a short while. The police removed the protestors.

All government offices remained closed as employees joined the strike. Demonstrations and meetings were held at panchayat and municipal centres in the district.

CPI(M) Central committee member and former Minister A.K. Balan inaugurated the protest meeting held at Anjuvilakku junction in Palakkad town.


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Printable version | Jul 22, 2022 8:33:20 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/strike-brings-life-in-palakkad-to-standstill/article65268060.ece