Strike evokes mixed response

Strike evokes mixed response

Strike evokes mixed response

The nationwide strike by trade unions on Friday paralysed normal life in several states, impacting the functioning of government offices and industrial establishments.

Response to the strike call was overwhelming in Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab and Bihar, while it had significant impact in Puducherry, Telangana, Odisha, Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Jharkhand and Haryana.

Mumbai and Delhi were largely unaffected though the industrial areas in the cities wore a ghostly look. Response was lukewarm in West Bengal, regarded as the Left
stronghold.

Pvt banks stay out
The strike hit the banking sector severely, while transport and postal services also bore the brunt. Private banks did not participate.

An agency report claimed that clearing operations at the Reserve Bank was hit, while trade union leaders claimed that cheques worth Rs 19,000 crore could not be cleared.
State government employees took part in the strike in large numbers, joined by their fellow workers from central government offices. Oil and coal sectors also witnessed a near complete shutdown on Friday.

“It was a huge success. Around 18,000 crore workers participated in it,” AITUC general secretary D L Sachdeva told DH.

“The participation was unprecedented. Industrial establishments in government sector were shutdown and workers of schemes such as Anganwadi and Midday Meal scheme also participated in large numbers. Besides banking, insurance and telecom responded very positively,” AITUC secretary Amarjeet Kaur claimed.

 While power plants had downed their shutters, 70% defence sector units observed closure, union representatives said. The strike call badly hit Gurgaon’s automobile sector.

Fullest impact in Kerala
The strike saw its fullest impact in Left-ruled Kerala, where  government offices, educational institutions and business establishments remained closed. Only private vehicles were seen on roads in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.

With public transport off the roads, rail passengers struggled to reach their destinations.
The police arranged special vehicles for the stranded passengers.

In a first, the Thiruvananthapuram unit of Indian Space Research Organisation saw thin attendance on Friday after activists of the CITU blocked services at ISRO’s bus bay.
The strike had virtually no impact in Tamil Nadu, where transport and offices functioned normally despite claims by unions that several thousands took part. Schools and colleges functioned as usual.

In Telangana, TSRTC buses stayed off the roads, while All India Bank Employees Association Joint Secretary B S Rambabu said nearly 15,000 bank employees took part in the strike, paralysing the banks.

Nearly two lakh Telangana state government workers attended work wearing a black badge, while production in Singareni collieries was completely affected. 

In Andhra Pradesh, employees of Vizag steel plant, part-time and contact workers of TTD, Jute workers in West Godavari’s Eluru participated in the strike.

Blames UPA govt
Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya blamed the previous UPA government for the problems affecting labourers.

 He also told reporters that seven of the eight demands of the unions were conceded in principle.

The strike also hit the North-east severely,  with banking and public services shutting down completely in Assam and other states.

Northeast Frontier Railways reported delays in several train services as protesters blocked tracks in many places.

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