- Government-run banks, offices shut as 10 trade unions strike nationwide
- Public transport hit in Kerala, Karnataka; Delhi, Mumbai unaffected
- Schools, colleges and private banks continue to run in most states
Here are the 10 latest developments:
Public sector banks across the country, except the State Bank of India, are shut, but private banks are working in most states and customers can access ATMs.
The Delhi government invoked the stringent Essential Services Maintenance Act or ESMA and a strike by 20,000 nurses in Delhi was declared illegal. They were allegedly manhandled by police before being dragged into buses and detained.
Ground reports suggest that over a million workers are on strike today to protest against new labour and investment policies and to demand better pay.
Public transport remained unaffected in Delhi and Mumbai, but public vehicles were nonoperational in Kerala and parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said her government will not allow offices or factories to close and that public transport will run as usual. Left parties have vowed to ensure that the strike is successful in the state. "Those who worked today will get an extra holiday on Durga Puja," said Ms Banerjee.
In Left-ruled Kerala, government offices, schools and colleges are closed and all public transport is off the roads after the call for Bangh got the support of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
In Karnataka, the Congress government is supporting the strike and schools and colleges are closed. Public transport has been partially hit with very few state-run buses on the roads. In Bengaluru, auto rickshaws and taxis are running but are reportedly overcharging customers.
Workers of state-run Coal India Ltd are among those who are on strike today. Power plants have enough coal on hand to operate even if nothing is mined over the next 50 to 60 days, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal has said.
To persuade the unions to call off the strike, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday that the government will release state employees' bonuses for the last two years, and increase minimum wages for unskilled labourers.
But the trade unions rejected the government appeal to call off the strike, saying it had failed to address their demands. Apart from demanding higher minimum wages, the unions object to the government loosening the norms for foreign investment in areas like insurance and defence and are also opposed to a plan to close loss-making state-run firms.
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