Unions say strike unprecedented, ask government to talk

New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) The nationwide strike on Wednesday was an “unprecedented” success, 10 major trade unions said on Wednesday, and asked the government to open fresh talks with them.

“It has been an unprecedented strike of millions of workers at the call of central trade unions,” a joint statement by the unions said, adding the impact was near total in most industries.

“All sectors of the economy (were) affected,” said the statement.

The strike showed the “growing discontentment among the working people against the anti-worker policies of the government.

“It is also a protest against food price rise and the failure of the government to contain the slowdown of the economy, leading to heavy retrenchment.”

The unions — the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh did not take part — said they expected the government to understand the grievances of those who struck work on Wednesday.

“It must restart discussions with the central trade unions for concrete solutions to the demands, failing which the struggle will be intensified,” the statement warned.

It said the defence production on Wednesday came to a halt with the participation of nearly half a million ordnance factory workers.

The strike was said to be “100 percent” complete in the financial sector and the postal department, “complete” in coal, iron ore, bauxite, copper and aluminium mines, “almost complete” in electricity and power sector as well as telecommunication, and “total” in tea gardens.

The statement said the industrial action was “total” in 13 states including Kerala, Assam, Goa, Telangana, Puduchery, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

The strike was “massive” in Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Meghalaya.

The unions said most of the public transport also observed the strike.

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