All-India strike today; banks, public transport likely to be affected

New Delhi:  Eleven major trade unions are scheduled to participate in a two-day nationwide strike starting Wednesday. Trade unionists claim 10 crore workers will be taking part in the strike. Industry body Assocham has appealed to central trade unions to call off their proposed strike, and estimated a loss of between 15-20 thousand crore rupees to the economy.
Here are the latest developments in the story:
  1. The two-day strike may impact air travel as operations at various airports across the country could be crippled by the strike.
  2. Assocham president Rajkumar Dhoot said banking, insurance and transport, and industrial production may also take a hit. Even the agriculture sector would be affected as the movement of vegetables, a highly perishable item, would be disrupted.
  3. The major unions participating in the strike are Bhartiya Mazdoor Sabha, INTUC, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), HMS, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC). Trade unionists say that the strike by workers cuts across sectors and will bring defence production, postal services, banking, steel works and coal mines to a standstill.
  4. The unions have put forward 10 demands which mainly relate to checking of price rise, generation of employment, halting of disinvestment in public sector enterprises and implementation of labour laws.
  5. The employees of the Reserve Bank of India have said they will participate in the two-day strike though the Finance Ministry has appealed to bank employees not to join in.
  6. States like Delhi, West Bengal, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and parts of Uttar Pradesh are likely to be affected significantly.
  7. In Delhi, autorickshaws and taxis are expected to be off roads today and tomorrow. Delhi government has cancelled leaves off all DTC staff and has asked senior managers to be at bus depots from early morning. Protests are expected to take place at several places including Jantar Mantar and Central Secretariat.
  8. In Andhra Pradesh, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi or TRS has announced its support to the two-day general strike. TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao, in a release, appealed to the party cadres to make the strike a success.
  9. People in Kerala were yesterday seen queuing up outside state-owned retail liquor vends or rushing to buy vegetables, meat and fish ahead of the strike. Public transport could also be affected in the state as around 40,000 private buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws may stay go off the roads.
  10. The Kerala government has made elaborate arrangements and directed police to ensure that there is no law and order violation. The state government has announced that there would be no pay if its employees do not turn up for work during the strike and has asked office heads to submit attendance statement by 10.30 am on both days.

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