KERALA

Strike peaceful; life paralysed

CELEBRATING HARTAL: A group of youngsters fishing at a deserted boat jetty. A moment during the 24-hour strike, which brought life to a halt in the city on Tuesday. Photo: Vipin Chandran

CELEBRATING HARTAL: A group of youngsters fishing at a deserted boat jetty. A moment during the 24-hour strike, which brought life to a halt in the city on Tuesday. Photo: Vipin Chandran  

Trade unions claim majority of workers supported stir

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The 24-hour general strike called by the Trade Union Sponsoring Committee owing allegiance to the Left parties against the UDF Government's policies on labour and privatisation was peaceful. However, normal life in the city was affected.

Shops and establishments remained closed. Private bus services operating in the city and suburbs were off the road. Autorickshaws and taxi cars too did not ply. Except for a few private cars and two-wheelers, the roads wore a deserted look. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) also did not operate services from the Ernakulam depot. Most of the employees preferred to take leave and stay indoors on a rainy day. The schools had declared a holiday in advance. Banks and other public offices registered thin attendance.

Though train services were not disrupted, there were only a few passengers at the railway stations. The passengers who arrived at the stations had a tough time to get onward transport. Those who had to go out on essential work or on personal purposes were the worst-hit in the absence of public transport. The closure of hotels multiplied the woes of them. A few hotels and small shops were opened in certain lanes, away from the main roads.

The trade union activists took out a march in the city. Trade union leaders P.S. Mohanan, K.N. Gopinath, C.K.M anisankar, K.A. Ali Akbar, S. Krishnamoorthy, Sabu George, Muttam Abdulla, U. Pareeth and Kuruvilla Mathews led the march. CITU all-India secretary M.M. Lawrence addressed a gathering of the workers. Rallies were also organised at Kalamasserry, Aluva, Perumbavoor, Tripunithura and Vypeen. The committee claimed that majority of workers supported the strike in the public sector units in the district. Work at Munambam and Fort Kochi fishing harbours came to a standstill. The strike was total in the building and fishing sectors.

More than 60 per cent of workers struck work at FACT while 70 per cent joined strike at HIL, the committee said in a statement. At Cochin Port Trust, all the contract workers and 38 per cent of permanent employees did not attend duty, while at the Cochin Refineries, 48 per cent were absent, the committee said. Majority of workers struck work at TELK, TCC, Traco Cables, Indal, Apollo Tyres, Binani Zinc and Hindustan Lever, according to the trade unions.

The small scale industrial belt of Edayar, Kalamasserry and Vazhakkulam regions came to a standstill.

The coir and handicrafts labourers at Paravur also joined the strike.

Recommended for you