Banking services, work in government offices hit by strike

STOPPED: Women constables prevent striking employees from entering the railway station at Villianur on Thursday.

STOPPED: Women constables prevent striking employees from entering the railway station at Villianur on Thursday.  

Trade union leaders arrested for picketing, 6,000 protesters held in Cuddalore, Villupuram districts

Staff Reporter

PONDICHERRY: Industrial workers, farm labourers, unorganised sector employees and government employees went on strike in Pondicherry on Thursday in response to the call given at the national level trade unions and also the fora of Central and State Government employees to press a 16-point charter of demands. They also sought the Central and State Governments' measures to settle the demands without any further delay.

Banks remained closed marking the participation of their staff in the strike.

The government staff affiliated to the Confederation of Associations of State Government employees (led by C.H. Balamohanan) and the Federation of the Associations of Government Staff (headed by T.R. Seshachalam) abstained from work and held a meeting at the Head Post Office in the heart of the town urging the Central Government to concede their charter of demands.

Recruitment freeze

They demanded among other things formation of Sixth Pay Commission and withdrawal of the current ban on recruitment of employees. Police sources said that around 700 volunteers of trade unions led by Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) the CPI (M.L), the cadres of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the All India Coordination Committee of Trade Unions and All India Progressive Women's Association were held either for picketing road traffic or for staging rail rokos at different centres. Police arrested the secretary of the Pondicherry State committee of the CPI, N. Kalainathan, MLA, the former Agriculture Minister and member of the national council of the CPI, R. Viswanathan and the secretary of the Pondicherry CPI (M), V. Perumal.

Our Cuddalore Special Correspondent reports: Banking operations in the Cuddalore and Villupuram districts were affected as employees stayed away from work on Thursday as part of the nationwide general strike called by the trade unions.

Over 4,000 employees in Cuddalore district and about 2,000 in Villupuram district, at least one-tenth of them women, were detained when they attempted to stage `road roko' and `rail roko' at many places in the two districts.

State Transport Corporation sources said there was no disruption in regular bus services and they had managed to stick to the schedule.

Southern Railway too operated services without any hiccups. Work at the Neyveli Lignite Corporation went on was as usual.

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