Strike evokes mixed response in Karnataka, rural Maharashtra partially hit

Strike evokes mixed response in Karnataka, rural Maharashtra partially hit

Bengaluru, Sep 2, 2016 (PTI) The one-day nationwide strike called by ten central trade unions today evoked a mixed response in Karnataka.

While the state-run transport buses remained off the roads causing inconvenience to office-goers and those travelling to distant places, shops, establishments, markets and hotels functioned normally.

Though some auto and cab unions had announced their support for the bandh, their movement was by and large normal in Bengaluru. Metro services are also functioning normally.

Keeping safety of students in mind, authorities in various districts have declared holiday for school and college goers.

Police have made elaborate security arrangements in the state to avoid any untoward incident. In Bengaluru police personnel have been deployed across the city.

Thirty-six platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police, 21 of City Armed Reserve and 270 Police patrol vehicles are deployed across Bengaluru, officials said.

Demonstrations are being held by trade unions across the state. At a march held in the city, protesters with banners marched from Town hall to Freedom Park here shouting slogans against government policies.

The unions have called the protest against the central government’s “indifference” to their demands for better wages and facilities and “anti-worker” changes in labour laws.
Mumbai transport unaffected, rural Maharashtra partially hit
It was business as usual for public transport in Mumbai despite one-day nationwide strike call given by central trade unions, while it evoked a mixed response in rural Maharashtra.

The suburban trains, autorickshaws, taxis and city buses continued to operate normally, without affecting the daily schedule of lakhs of commuters in Mumbai and suburbs.
A CPM state unit leader told PTI that there were instances of ‘rasta roko’ (block roads) at various places in rural Maharashtra.

“Our activists staged ‘rasta roko’ agitation in Thane and Nashik districts,” CPM leader Ashok Dhawle said. He claimed that there was an ‘overwhelming’ response to the stir in the industrial belts of Maharashtra.

Several government employees also stayed away from work, he said. All India Banks Employees Association general secretary Vishwas Utagi said entire financial sector will get paralysed today with all banks, except SBI, being on strike. The LIC, Nabard, GIC among others are also participating in the strike, he added.

Essential services such as banking, transport and telecom are likely to be hit today as 10 central trade unions began nationwide strike, protesting against “anti-worker” changes in labour laws and the Centre’s “indifference” to their demands for better wages.

All major unions, excluding RSS-associated BMS (Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh), have joined the strike call, terming the government’s assurances to look into their demands and the recent announcements for two-year bonus and hike in minimum wage as “completely inadequate”.

On its part, the government has asked all ministries to ensure that public utilities and essential services are not affected. Secretaries of all departments have been asked to take effective measures for smooth running of various services coming under their respective ministries.

Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya had yesterday blamed the previous UPA government for the issues faced by the workers and said the present government “doesn’t want a confrontation with labour unions” and rather needs their cooperation and support.

He had conceded banking and insurance sectors are likely to be impacted more due to the strike today, while adding that out of 12 demands of the trade unions, eight are related to the labour department and seven of them have been agreed to.

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