Nationwide strike call gets mixed response

Nationwide strike call gets mixed response

Banking, insurance and postal sectors hit

Nationwide strike call gets mixed response

The one-day nationwide strike called by 11 trade unions on Tuesday evoked a mixed response across the country—hitting banking, insurance and postal sectors, and partially affecting road transport services.

In Mumbai, operations of banks were paralysed. Due to the thin attendance of staff, financial transactions came to a halt in most banks. In the outskirts of Mumbai,  public transport was affected as several autorickshaw drivers participated in the strike.

At noon, the financial capital of the country also witnessed a massive protest demonstration at the historic Azad Maidan. The first rally that hit Mumbai streets was under the banner of All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA,) All India Bank Officers' Assocation (AIBOA) and five other organisations.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, AIBEA secretary and Maharashtra State Bank Employees Federation, Vishwas Utagi, said: “Nearly 25,000 workers working in RBI, IDBI, NABARD, SIDBI, public sector banks and its associates, nationalised banks, private sector banks, regional rural banks and foreign banks, co-operative banks observed strike on Tuesday.”

In Andhra Pradesh, shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed in some parts of the state while the industrial production in state-owned units was affected with workers participating in the strike and demanding for an end to contract labour, and a hike in minimum wages among others.

Employees of several private and state-run organisations and Left activists held rallies across the state. At several places, protesters squatted in front of bus stations of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) preventing buses from going out. However, there was not much of impact in the state capital Hyderabad.

Apart from a section of auto rickshaws staying off the roads, buses plyed as usual. Most of the private-run schools and colleges functioned normally while the government-run educational institutions remained closed. Bandh was partial in the industrial hub of Visakhapatnam, near total in Guntur and Vijayawada.

Police arrested CPI (M) state secretary B V Raghavulu and dozens of others at Koti in Hyderabad when they tried to march towards the state Assembly. CPM leader P Madhu and his supporters were also arrested when they tried to prevent buses from plying.

Similarly, the northern states of Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana, witnessed disruptions in the banking and transport sectors. Buses on several routes remained off the road in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh even as officials persuaded employees not to join the strike. Meanwhile, the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala enforced 'dies non' (no work-no pay) order against the strike in government offices.