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The 48-hour general strike called by the trade unions on February 20 and 21 has had little effect in West Bengal but in Kerala and New Delhi the strike hits normal life.

Commuters in the city on Wednesday faced hardships as a section of auto-rickshaws and taxis remained off the road in support of the two-day nationwide strike called by 11 trade unions.

School children and office goers suffered the most as most auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers either refused or overcharged. Passengers at major railway stations and bus stands remained stranded or had to shell out more to reach their destinations.

“I had to pay Rs 180 for a ride from Moti Bag to Central Secretariat to an auto driver. The fare for the stretch in a normal day is around Rs 80,” said Ajeet Singh, a government official.

Five major auto-rickshaw and taxi unions have announced that they will join the strike to demand a hike in auto and taxi fares.

Although Metro services were not affected by the strike, bus services were partially hit by the strike as a number of bus unions, including a section of Delhi Transport Corporation employees, have also extended support to the strike.

Long queues were seen at Metro stations and bus stands as they remained the only viable option for people to commute.

“I had to stand in the queue at INA Metro station for around 45 minutes as most people decided to take the metro following the strike. By the time I reached office, I was late by an hour,” said Shikha Tiwari who works at an airline company at Connaught Place.

To tackle the strike, Delhi government has cancelled leave of all DTC employees and asked senior officials of the corporation to be at bus depots from early morning to ensure a smooth running of the DTC bus service.

Delhi Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami had said that around 1,000 RTV (rural transport vehicles) and tourist buses will ply on DTC routes for the next two days.

“These buses have been allowed to ply on DTC routes under special service. The buses would display DTC route numbers and charge DTC fares,” he said.

Little impact in West Bengal

There was little impact of the two-day strike called by central trade unions on the first day on Wednesday in West Bengal with situation being normal and peaceful across the state.

Shops and markets were mostly open in the metropolis.

Private buses and taxis were less, though state buses were present in large number on the roads, police sources said.

Barring blockades at Hasnabad and Diamond sections of the Eastern Railway, train services were normal in Howrah and Sealdah divisions, the sources said.

Flight schedule was also normal at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.

Commissioner of Kolkata Police Surajit Karpurakayastha was on the roads in the morning to review security.

“Everything is absolutely normal,” he said.

ADG (law and order) Banibrata Basu said no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.

The West Bengal government has issued a warning to employees against being absent during the strike.

The state government has also asked shops and markets to remain open or face administrative action, including cancellation of trade licence.

CITU leaders have criticised the state government for this saying that it was undemocratic and illegal.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that her administration would ensure that life was normal and there would be no shutdown in the state.

She has also said that the government would pay in case of damage caused during the strike.

Strike hits normal life in Kerala

The 48-hour nationwide strike called by central trade unions hit normal life across Kerala on Monday with workers from varied sectors, including transport and banking, staying away from work to protest the UPA government’s economic and labour policies.

Early reports said buses and taxis were off the roads and shops and restaurants remained closed. Train services were not affected.

The Congress-led UDF government has declared ‘dies non’ (no work, no pay) as pro-Left service and teachers unions are also striking work.

Security has been tightened and no violence has been reported from anywhere. Police have offered protection to those willing to work and public conveyances ready to ply, police sources said.

Emergency services like health care, milk supply and media have been exempted from the strike, AITUC leader Kanam Rajendran said.

The unions have put forward a charter of 10 demands such as urgent steps to control price rise, strict enforcement of labour laws in all places of work, social security net for workers in the unorganised sector, end to disinvestment in PSUs and raising minimum wage to Rs 10,000 a month.

Apart from unions owing allegiance to the Left, the pro-Congress INTUC and pro-BJP BMS are also participating in the strike.

However, pro-UDF government service and teachers unions have not joined the strike.

Two-day strike begins in AP

The nationwide strike called by Central Trade Unions in support of their various demands began in Andhra Pradesh with the personnel of various public sector organisations staying away from work.

The employees of various public sector banks began protest at the Bank Street at Koti here as part of the strike.

The leaders of the bank unions sit-out at the government’s alleged attempts to dilute the public sector banking system.

The other trade unions have also planned protests during the two-days of the strike.

In Vijayawada, the trade unions took out a rally and demanded that the government respond to their demands.

The staff of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) have also joined the strike in different parts of the state.

The employees of the State-run miner Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL), spread in various Telangana districts, have also stayed away from the duties, reports reaching here said.

Strike peaceful in Karnataka

Barring stray incidents of stone pelting in Bellary, the nationwide strike called by 11 trade unions in support of their demands evoked a mixed response across Karnataka.

Sources said some persons pelted stones at some buses and blocked roads in Bellary while normal life was hit in Koppal, with buses, autorickshaws and other transport off the roads, officials said.

In Bangalore, no untoward incidents were reported.Shops and educational institutes remained closed, while state transport services operated lesser number of buses. Autos were off roads and there was no disruption in train services.

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation Managing Director told reporters 80 buses were plying in the city and no incident of violence had been reported from anywhere.

Services at various hospitals were not affected, as also in Information Technology companies, many of whose employees worked from home, sources said.

Security has been tightened across the state, with 17,000 policemen being deployed in Bangalore itself.

Normal life paralysed in Tripura

Normal life was disrupted on the first day of two day strike called by central trade unions in Left Front-ruled Tripura.

Shops and markets were closed, as were schools, colleges, banks and financial institutions.

Private buses and taxis were off the roads and train service came to a standstill in the state.

CITU workers staged a dharna on the train lines at the Agartala railways station.

Flight operations were, however, normal.

The police said the situation was peaceful in the state.


A trade union leader, who was squatting along with a group of workers near the local bus depot as part of the two-day nationwide strike call on Wednesday, died when he was hit by a bus in his bid to stop it from plying, a senior Roadways official said here.

“The incident took place around 4 am this morning when Narender Singh, a bus driver by profession, tried to stop the vehicle which was being taken out from the Ambala Depot despite the strike,” district president, Haryana Roadways Workers Union’s, Inder Singh Bhadana told reporters here.

Mr. Bhadana alleged that the district administration tried to forcibly ply the bus, which hit Mr. Singh, who was also the treasurer of a AITUC union, killing him on the spot.

After the incident, the other workers resorted to violence damaging vehicles belonging to the Ambala’s Deputy Commissioner of Police and SHO of the Baldev police station area, police said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bhadana demanded a case to be lodged against the General Manager of the Roadways, failing which they will not allow the body to be cremated.

In view of the tense situation, heavy police force had been deployed at the bus depot and its surrounding areas.

Earlier, however, AITUC General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta told PTI that the victim was allegedly stabbed to death by some miscreants


Kallianpur : Due to the call for nationwide strike by the various trade unions against central Government various policies life of the people partially effected and paralised at Santhekatte here on early in the morning. Large numer of people specially school & college students, labourers and various vehicles were not seen on the junction of the Santhekatte National Highway66.

Except buses all other vehicles were on the road in the early in the morning. Large number of two wheelers and other vehicles were seen on the road. Schools and colleges were not worked due to the shortage of students. Shops and hotels were opened as usual.

Buses, autos to be off roads on Feb 20, 21,effect on exams

Citizens, especially commuters and schoolchildren, are in for a long haul and hardship on Wednesday and Thursday with the two-day nation-wide strike set to bring both bus and auto services to a grinding halt.

While, buses and autos being off roads is bound to reduce pollution, citizens have to face an uphill task of trekking to their workplace, homes and other destinations. Else, face the prospects of forking out high sums to fleecing and opportune private operators.

According to Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) General Secretary A V Borashetty, employees of all four state road transport corporations, including KSRTC and BMTC, have extended support to the strike.

“We won’t attend duties between 6 am to 6 pm on Wednesday, February 20.Transport corporations have been severely hit by Rs 12 hike in diesel price and we have no way, but to resort to the agitation,” he said.

Nagaraj, President of the Auto Drivers’ Association, said no autorickshaw would ply on both days of the strike. However, with schools and colleges dependent on BMTC buses for students’ transport, it is the concerned parents and their children who are likely to be hit hard by the INTUC’s strike.

“With semester system in place, classes for the season have begun just a month ago in many colleges. Even SSLC and PUC exams are scheduled in the near future. Frequent interruptions to teaching schedules will hit the academic activities,” said Principal, Seshadripura Degree College in Yelahanka.

However, seeing not only a god-sent business opportunity, but also earn, in the process, a bit of goodwill and brownie points of loyalty from the commuters, Ola cabs, a private cab service agency, has offered the public its services at autorickshaw fares on both days of the strike. The agency may be contacted on 33553355 (24 hours) in advance to avail of the facility.

Vehicle owners can heave a sigh of relief in that there won’t be any disruption to fuel bunks. “We have not taken any decision on participating in the strike. Petrol and diesel supply at bunks will be as usual,” assured Ravindran, President, Petrol Distributors Association.

BU exams postponed

Bangalore University has postponed the first semester post graduate examinations in view of the bandh. Exams scheduled for both these days will now be conducted on February 22. The registrar (evaluation) has said the other exams will be held as per schedule.

The VTU will function as usual. Vice-Chancellor Maheshappa said the semester exams were on and they would be held as per the time table. The university would function as usual on both days, he added.


Earlier News:

NEW DELHI: There may be no banking transaction for two whole days in the country, as "not just the nationalised bank unions including their officers but even some of the private banks except ICICI Bank, have agreed to strike work on February 20 and 21," said CPI leader and AITUC general secretaryGurudas Dasgupta on Saturday.
Petrol pumps could also run out of gas for those two days, as oil and gas supplies will be hit. Road transport, telecom sector, coal production and supply, oil and gas supply, power sector defence production, are going to participate in a big way in the 48-hour strike, the trade union leaders said, while addressing a joint press conference here on Saturday.
With some state governments like in Odisha, Bihar, Karnataka among others have decided to support the strike, life for the common people are bound to be hit in these states and beyond. The railways and the air services are the only ones which will function as, the trade unions have failed to rope them in.
The two-day strike called by the country’s 11 registered trade unions cutting across party lines, in protest of price rise and the government "anti-people economic policies" are likely to hit normal life in many parts of the country, with major sectors like banking, transport, ports, power and telecom have agreed to join the protest call.
A worried UPA government tried to reach out to the trade union leaders and ask them to withdraw the strike call, but labour minister Malikarujun Kharge’s efforts in a holding meeting with them failed to yeild any result. "The last minute meeting called by the labour minister on February 13 resulted in further strengthening of resolve for strike as government could not come forward to resolve any of the issues concerning labour ministry," Dasgupta said.
While New Delhi may respond the least to the strike call, the country economic capital Mumbai will badly hit by the strike as the Shiv Sena has agreed to join the trade unions in protesting against the government’s hard hitting policies. As a result even the Mumbai state transport buses are not going to ply on day-one of the strike. Since there are examinations on february 21, the buses will ply while the rest of the service and infrastructure sectors will continue to strike work. In a massive show of strength, all the trade union leaders are planning to hold a massive rally in Mumbai on February 18, where even Sena leader Uddhav Thackaray may join in.
Apart from all the 11 trade unions, 2013 independent unions have also joined the protest.
"For the first time all trade unions have come together for a two-day strike as government has not taken any action to look into the problems of sky rise inflation, disinvestment in public sector units and non-implementation of labour laws," Dasgupta said. Last year they had come together for a one-day strike.
The strike has been called jointly by the Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh (BMS), All India Trade union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC) and other such organisations.
The trade unions are demanding pensions for everyone along with removal of ceiling on bonus and provident fund. "We want government to take concrete steps like stopping the deregulation of petrol and diesel prices. They should have price fixation policy. They should have universal ration system, they should control hoarding and black marketing also," AITUC’s Amarjeet Kaur said. Opposing the contract labour policy, the Unions have demanded regular employment for jobs of perennial nature.

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