KERALA

Strike affects normal life in Kochi

STRIKE NO BAR: Rain or shine, these migrant labourers from Tamil Nadu are ready to toil under the sun. A scene from Kadavanthra Junction on Thursday, when trade unions went on a strike.

STRIKE NO BAR: Rain or shine, these migrant labourers from Tamil Nadu are ready to toil under the sun. A scene from Kadavanthra Junction on Thursday, when trade unions went on a strike.  

No untoward incident reported; poor attendance hits work in Collectorate

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The 24-hour general strike called by trade unions affected normal life in Kochi, the commercial capital of Kerala.

City residents had to depend on their own conveyance as private buses which form the mainstay of transport did not ply. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation also withdrew its services. Except for the presence of a few private vehicles and two-wheelers, city roads presented a deserted look. Shops and business establishments had their shutters downed.

Educational institutions declared a holiday on Thursday. Banks had thin attendance. The functioning of the Collectorate was affected due to poor attendance.

Train services unaffected

Train services were operated as usual, but there were few passengers. Those who had to reach railway stations and their destinations after disembarkation had a difficult time in the absence of commuting facilities.

Cochin Shipyard Limited registered 52 per cent attendance. The Kochi port was not affected as only five ships had berthed there during the day, according to port officials. Container movement outside the port was affected owing to the strike by transporters.

The functioning of Kochi Refineries Limited was not affected as more than 95 per cent of the staff attended duty, according to company sources.

The company has its own transportation facilities to bring in employees. The trade unions of KRL did not take part in the strike, a company official said.

Flights operated as usual from Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery.

The Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation operated regular boat services though there were only a few passengers.

Though the city centres lacked the verve of a metropolis on the move, it was business as usual for quite a few street corners where some teashops and petty shops were open. No untoward incident was reported during the strike.

The work in the insurance sector was affected as there was only nominal attendance. Officers belonging to the General Insurance Officers All India Association did not take part in the strike, its general secretary P.P. Mohanan said.

Confederation of Central Government Employees & Workers district secretary P.G. Saseendran claimed that the strike was a total success in the public sector.

The statement said a majority of employees of the Income Tax Department, the Department of Posts and the Pay & Accounts Department participated in the strike, bringing the activities in those offices to a standstill. He said the Central Excise, Customs and Passport offices could function only partially.

A statement issued by K. Ravikkuttan, convener of the Local Coordinating Committee of Postal, RMS & MMS Unions, Ernakulam, said a majority of post offices in Ernakulam division had to be closed on Thursday due to low attendance.

The delivery of postal articles was impacted. The strike was total in the RMS sector, he said.

Joy Joseph, general secretary of the Private Motor Thozhilali Union affiliated to the AITUC, said workers of private buses, taxis, autorickshaws and light goods vehicles participated in the strike to make it a total success.

Mr. Joseph, who is also the general secretary of Ernakulam District Hotel Thozhilali Union, said thousands of hotel workers took part in the strike.

N.U. Appukuttan, general secretary of Income Tax Employees Federation, Kerala Circle, the work in the department was totally paralysed as the non-gazetted employees and the promotee gazetted officers joined the nationwide strike.

All kerala Private College Teachers' Association general secretary A.Pratapachandran Nair said the higher education sector was affected in the strike.

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