TAMIL NADU

Strike hits banking, insurance sectors

IN UNISON: Bank employees staging a demonstration in Salem on Thursday responding to the call for a nation-wide stir. - Photo: P. Goutham

IN UNISON: Bank employees staging a demonstration in Salem on Thursday responding to the call for a nation-wide stir. - Photo: P. Goutham  

Essential services unaffected; frontline leaders held, released later State Road Transport Corporation continued operations without disruption

Special Correspondent

SALEM: Banking operations, postal services and insurance sector were affected, whereas essential services such as milk, electricity and water supply, transport and medical emergencies suffered no "disturbances" in Salem and Namakkal districts on Thursday in response to the nation-wide general strike call given by major trade unions to protest the economic policies of the Government and the dilution of labour laws.

No untoward incidents

Though demonstrations and picketing were organised at various places in both the districts, no untoward incident was reported. The police arrested frontline leaders and cadres of various trade unions and later released them. State Road Transport Corporation continued operations with no disruption in services.

Remain deserted

The strike, however, paralysed banking operations in these districts totally.

"About 99 per cent of the employees in various banks responded to the strike call," said a senior police official here. Almost all banks remained deserted. About Rs. 500 crores of banking business was affected on Thursday, said a bank official.

Massive response

Other sectors that suffered due to strike included insurance, postal services and BSNL. Nearly 60 per cent of postal employees and 35 per cent of BSNL employees struck work.

A majority of the workers of the Insurance Corporation Employees Union also joined the strike. They also demonstrated in front of the office of the Salem Division to press their demands.

Minimum absenteeism

While State Government recorded minimum or no absenteeism in its offices, the offices of the Central Government registered partial attendance.

A railway spokesman said that there was no disruption of train services. However, loading operations at the yard was partially affected. Nearly 30 per cent of Salem city's total autorickshaws kept off the road.

470 arrested

Police said that 470 persons who attempted to picket Salem District Collectorate and Salem Railway Junction were arrested.

Rural police also arrested union workers who attempted to block traffic near the bus stands at Attur, Jalakandapuram, Sankagiri, Gengavalli and Karumandurai.

Agitations were organised at various places in Namakkal district also.

Recommended for you