Bharat bandh: trade union strike affects whole India
Normal life was affected in various parts of the country, including West Bengal, Tripura, Kerala and Karnataka, as 10 central trade unions went on a day-long nationwide strike to protest against changes in labour laws and privatisation of PSUs.
According to the Kerala Medical and Sales Representatives Association, the Central Government had amended the labour laws in favour for corporates. They said the national strike would be a first step towards challenging the move. The Association alleged that the rights enjoyed by sales promotion workers were ‘well fought’ ones, and that the workers would lose them due to the ‘wrong’ policies of the government. “The government has failed to tackle price raise, which is at an all-time high. The middle-class and workers, who have been finding it difficult to make both ends meet, will join the protest,” said a statement issued by the Association.
Trade union leaders claimed that around 15 crore formal sector workers are on strike in support of their 12-point charter of demands. BJP-backed BMS and NFITU however stayed away from the strike.
Strike affects whole India
Commuters had a harrowing time in Delhi as a large number of autos and taxis remained off the roads as part of the one-day strike.
People were seen waiting for hours for auto rickshaws in several parts of the city, even as public services like metro and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses witnessed surge in number of passengers.
Office-goers and students were especially hit hard by the strike during morning hours.
CPI (M) and Trinamool Congress workers clashed here during the general strike called by trade unions. Nearly 200 persons were arrested from different parts of the state. Police sources said CPI (M) and TMC workers clashed at Baharampore and a few other places in Murshidabad district although details were yet to be received. Six CPI (M) workers were detained in this connection, police said.
Transport services in the city remained unaffected, as suburban train services, autorickshaws and BEST city buses were operating normally despite the one-day nationwide strike called by central trade unions.
All services, except railways, were affected including banks, transport, civil aviation and gas and oil supply. In short, it was a peaceful strike.
Public transport was partially affected in Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh as workers’ union joined the one-day nationwide strike. Bank customers faced inconvenience as employees of public sector banks excluding SBI were also on strike today. Public transport at several places in Haryana was affected as employees of Haryana Roadways also went on strike.