Response to general strike very modest

MASS APPEAL: Members of the CITU, DYFI, SFI and AIDWA staging a road roko in the city on Thursday. — Photo: K. Ganesan

MASS APPEAL: Members of the CITU, DYFI, SFI and AIDWA staging a road roko in the city on Thursday. — Photo: K. Ganesan  

"Participation of State Government employees in large numbers positive outcome for union activism"

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The nation-wide general strike did not affect normal life but paralysed banking and insurance operations in the district.

Essential services such as transport, electricity, milk and water supply were not affected. Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation operated all its services.

Though over 98 per cent of the staff abstained from work, the strike did not have an impact in flight operations at the Madurai Airport. All officers worked on Thursday but 49 out of the 54 staff members, under the Airport Authorities of India Joint Forum, struck work. The Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services personnel assisted the AAI officials, the Senior Manager (Aerodrome), Shajee Thomas, said.

Postal services in nine southern districts in the region were not affected, according to the Director of Postal Services, K. Balasubramanian. Sixty one per cent of the officers and 50 per cent of the staff turned up for duty. Essential services such as Speed Post were normal. "We were able to take up delivery of mail with the staff present," he said.

What unionists say?

Participation of over 5 lakh out of the 12 lakh State Government employees in the general strike "is a positive outcome for union activism in Tamil Nadu," according to the State General Secretary, Tamil Nadu Government Employees' Union, A.E. Paluchamy.

"Though the strike hitwas against the Centre's `anti-labour policies,' the huge participat in cityion of State Government employees, despite their sufferings owing to repressive steps taken by the State Government in the last four years, reflects their wish to reverse Government policies with regard to labour laws, employment and economical benefits," he told The Hindu on Thursday.

The TNGEU wanted the State Government to restore encashment of 15 days surrender leave, merger of 50 per cent of dearness allowance with basic pay on the lines of Union Government and to lift the ban on recruitment to fill all vacancies in Government departments, he said.

Members belonging to the TNGEU and Tamil Nadu Government Employees' Association and other affiliated associations participated in the strike, he said.

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