Bharat Bandh 2019 Updates: French tourists stranded in Kerala's Alappuzha amid protests; shikaras, hotels bear deserted look in tourist town

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Bharat Bandh 2019 Updates: French tourists stranded in Kerala's Alappuzha amid protests; shikaras, hotels bear deserted look in tourist town
  • 14:32 (IST)

    French tourists stranded in Kerala's Alappuzha amid protests; shikaras, hotels bear deserted look in tourist town

  • 14:28 (IST)

    Kerala trade union leaders' assurance rings futile as workers go ahead and force shopkeepers to down shutters 

    The assurances given by trade union leaders not to enforce the strike in Kerala remained futile with trade union workers preventing workers from going to offices, blocking vehicles and trains and forcing traders to close shops and business establishments throughout the state. The assurance was given by the leaders following strong public opinion against frequent shut down strikes (hartal). The general strike turned out to be a hartal with vehicles keeping off the roads, schools and colleges declaring holidays and shops and business establishments remaining closed in most parts of the state. The trade union workers clashed with traders in Malapuram and Alapuzha disticts when they tried to open the shops. The strike also hit the functioning of the industry. 

  • 14:05 (IST)

    West Bengal child's rights commission sends notice to CPM leaders over attack on school bus in Barasat

    The West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Right has sent a show cause notice CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty and other party office bearers. The commission is aggrieved over the attack on school bus in Barasat. The commission said that "such dangerous and unconstitutional move by a political party is a violation of child rights under the juvenile justice Act.

  • 13:58 (IST)

    North East observes total bandh against citizenship Bill; trade unionists' strike evokes mixed response in most places, Kerala worst-hit, West Bengal sees violence

    Looking at the overall picture of Tuesday's bandh, the effect was near total in North East India with the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) calling for a bandh after a gap of 10 years, which is also being supported by the erstwhile BJP ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), the opposition Congress, the AIUDF, and the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS).

    In rest of India, the strike evoked mixed response as banking services and state transport took the maximum brunt of the shutdown. However, many private establishments remained open in defiance to the shutdown call. Only in Kerala was the effect near total with only a few traders' associations keeping their establishments open in defiance. However, they too were later forced to down shutters. 

    West Bengal, meanwhile, saw major clashes between the ruling TMC and Opposition CPM workers as the latter tried to enforce the shutdown while the former were seen thwarting them. At one place in Murshidabad, nine TMC workers were injured after a bunch of CPM workers attacked their party office. 

  • 13:47 (IST)

    In Karnataka's Hassan, Anganwadi workers protest for minimum wage security  

    In Karnataka's Hassan, Anganwadi workers, daily wage workers and other contractual workers gathered in large numbers to protest demanding equal pay rights and social security benefits. Many women, particularly workers of Asha, are participating in the rally, demanding among other things Rs 18,000 per month as minimum wage.

    Input by Akhil/ 101Reporters

  • 13:35 (IST)

    Students heading to give exam in West Bengal's Burdwan attacked by pro-strike protesters

    A bunch of students travelling to give their exam in Burdwan were attacked by Left-wing protesters. The private vehicle in which the students were travelling was suddenly hit by stones. Despite repeated requests by the students that the protesters let the car go, the angry mob broke the car's front screen with sticks and forced the students to turn back. 

    Input by A Ghosh, 101 Reporters 

  • 13:25 (IST)

    Kerala only state where state secretariat shuts down due to bandh call; CM, Cabinet also skip office

    The 48-hour general strike called by central trade unions brought the functioning of the government offices in Kerala, including state secretariat at Thiruvananthapuram, to a standstill. While most employees did not report for work, a few who came were prevented from entering the offices. Even chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his cabinet colleagues and senior officers kept off the secretariat. The Left unions also blocked traffic on a road leading to the secretariat by erecting a shed for their meeting.

  • 13:09 (IST)

    Partial effect in Odisha's Bhubaneswar 

    In Bhubaneswar, there is a mixed response to the bandh call. There is no blockade in several parts of the city. However, public transport has come to a halt. People are using their private vehicles to commute. All shops, petrol pumps have been shut down. Trade union protest rally was taken out near state secretariat, however, the police stopped the rally at Jaydev Bhawan near secretariat.

    Input by BB Mohapatra/101Reporters

  • 13:05 (IST)

    RSS backed Bhartiya Mazdur Sangh keeps away from Left-backed trade union protests 

    RSS’ affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has said it will not participate in the all-India strike called by 10 traders uniouns mostly backed by Left-wing parties. 

  • 13:03 (IST)

    Maharashtra govt threatens to invoke MESMA act against protesting govt workers 

    The BEST management threatened to invoke Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) against the striking employees. However, the employees were adamant to carry on with the strike until their demands were met. The Maharashtra government on Monday had brought in the state power corporation employees under the scope of MESMA to stop them from joining the strike. 

  • 12:58 (IST)

    'Equal pay for equal work': Trade unions organise sit-in protests in Mumbai, Delhi; seek minimum pay security for contractual workers 

    Vishwas Utagi, convener of the Traders Association in Maharashtra said, "We have give the government our note, we have given them our vote. Now why can't they set aside 10 percent of the Union Budget to ensure social security for the government employees."

    Ten trade unions have announced a massive protest across India starting today. One of their key demands is to grant equal benefits and pay to contractual workers, education and pension benefits for all employees. 

  • 12:49 (IST)

    TMC leader Mijanur Rahman critically injured in Murshidabad clashes

    TMC leader Mijanur Rahman was brutally attacked in the clashes reported between CPM workers and AITMC cadres in Murshidabad. Rahman has been admitted in Murshidabad's medical college along with eight other TMC workers and is undergoing treatment. 

    Input by A Ghose/101Reporters

  • 12:46 (IST)

    Trade union workers clash with shop owners defying bandh call in Malappuram 

    Trade union workers clashed with traders, who tried to open shops at Manjeri in Malappuram district. The protestors forced a few shops that were opened in the morning to close. Clash erupted when the traders came together and tried to open the shops again. Police, who were fewer in numbers as compared to the protesters, remained helpless. 

  • 12:44 (IST)

    Bandh seems ineffective in In Karnataka's Koppal

    AITUC members on bikes take out a protest rally in Koppal. Workers from many industries in Sankoppa and Gadag are part of this protest. But apart from isolated cases like this, the bandh doesn't seem to be taking off in Koppal. Buses aren't as frequent but life looks normal with vehicles on roads like every day. Businesses remain open despite threats and warnings and road-side sellers are back in their usual spots. Hotels have opened single doors and are entertaining customers.

    Input by Naabhiraj/101Reporters 

  • 12:42 (IST)

    Centre introduces Trade Union (Amendment) Bill in LS despite nation-wide protests

    Even as ten central trade unions (CTUs) have called for a nationwide workers’ strike on 8-9 January, expected to be among the biggest strike actions in India, the government introduced a Bill in Lok Sabha to further amend the Trade Unions Act 1956. The Bill proposes to grant statutory recognition to trade unions at both the central and state-level. However, unions have pointed out that the Bill seeks to vest the government with the discretionary power in recognising the trade unions, departing entirely from the existing practice based on tripartite (employees, employers and government) consensus. 

  • 12:13 (IST)

    Fresh clashes reported from Murshidabad in West Bengal 

    Fresh clashes were reported from Murshidabad district in West bengal as bandh supporters attacked ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) offices. Nine TMC men were reportedly injured in the ensuing clashes and a large police party has been sent to bring the situation under control. The TMC alleged that the Left party workers attacked its cadres with iron rods and bricks, heavy amount of stone pelting was also reported. 

    Input by A Ghosh /101Reporters 

  • 12:10 (IST)

    Sabarimala devotees find themselves stranded at railway station, bus stops due to Bharath bandh 

    The general strike affected the pilgrims to the Sabarimla Lord Ayyappa shrine who were trying to reach Pamba base camp to begin their trek to the hil shrine. Supporters of the strike blocked trains in most parts of the state and private bus operators and state-run Kerala State Road Transport Corporation were also forced to remain off roads in face of massive protests.

    Hundreds of Ayyappa devotees, who observe a difficult 40-day-Vratham before they come to Sabarimala, were found stranded at railway stations and bus stands in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Patghanamthitta, Ernakulam and Palakkad districts.  

  • 12:01 (IST)

    Anti-citizenship Bill protests turns violent in Assam; BJP office vandalised in Dibrugarh, private vehicles 

    Protesters vandalised the Bharatiya Janata Party's office in Dibrugarh, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal's home district. Protesters raising slogans against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill vandalised the BJP office situated at Amolapatty just 100 meters from Amolapatty police outpost. Security forces are deployed in the area to control the situation.
     

    Input by Avik Chakraborty/101Reporters

  • 11:53 (IST)

    Bandh largely successful in Kerala but some traders associations defy shutdown call

    A section of traders in Kochi and Kozhikode opened shops defying the general strike that turned out to be a total shut down in most parts of Kerala. In Kochi, shops were opened in Broadway, one of the major shopping hubs in the city. However, the strike supporters did not allow traders to open shops in other parts of the city. Business was run as usual on the Sweet Street in Kozhikode with traders joining hands in keeping the strike supporters at bay.

    The traders have opened the shops in accordance with the decision taken by the traders’ organizations led by Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) during the hartals called by BJP and other Hindu organisations in protest against the women’s entry in Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple. Several shops opened by the traders in the light of this decision during the last hartal on 3 Janauary were attacked. Trade organization leaders had then said that they would not cooperate with such strikes in future as well. 

  • 11:49 (IST)

    Protestors court arrest in Tamil Nadu's Thanjavur 

    A group of protesters in Tamil Nadu's Thanjavur courted arrest after an hour-long rail roko dharna at the city's railway station. 

    Input by Swathy Reddy/101Reporters

  • 11:41 (IST)

    Public transport in Bengaluru largely unaffected as Namma metro, state buses ply on usual routes

    In Bengaluru, BMTC buses have been plying their regular routes like it’s any other working day. Namma Metro is operational and auto rickshaws largely remain available on the roads. But establishments remain closed. The famous MTR hotel on Lal Bhag road, Lal Bhag Grand Hotel, Vidhyarthi Bhavan in Basavangudi and many other hotels are closed with no takers for their hot coffee and idlies.

    KSRTC buses are not leaving from Majestic bus stand to other cities. However, the bandh has not yet reached KR Market whose flower and fruit sellers are going about their business as usual. In an isolated incident near Malleshwaram 8th cross, stones were thrown at BMTC buses by unknown people who came on bikes.

    Input by Soumya Rani/101Reporters 

  • 11:29 (IST)

    Why are trade union workers protesting against Modi government's policies? 

    Ten trade unions — INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, AICCTU, UTUC, TUCC, LPF and SEWA — have joined hands for this two-day bandh to protest the "anti-worker and anti-people policies of the Modi government" like demonitisation, badly implemented GST, price rise, privatisation, unilateral amendment of labour laws, etc.

    The groups have forwarded a list of demands that “directly affects the daily lives of the workers and their job security” including curbing rising prices of essential commodities, containing unemployment, strict enforcement of all basic labour laws and stringent punishment for violations, universal social security cover for all workers, minimum wages of Rs.18000 per month, assured pension etc. 

    Among other things, the workers’ unions mainly oppose the move of the government to amend the Trade Union Act of 1926 and violating the International Labour Union Convention by not consulting trade unions before going for large-scale amendments to labour laws. The unions also the government of killing work culture and indigenous manufacturing like in the case of favouring Reliance ADAG instead of HAL.

    Input By Lakshmi Bavge/101Reporters

  • 11:21 (IST)

    Massive clashes between TMC, CPM workers reported from West Bengal; Dum Dum junction blocked

    Massive clashes between Trinamool Congress and CPM workers in West Bengal's Kolkata as a result of which train traffic was completely halted at city's suburban Dum Dum junction. Reports said that journalists covering the protests were also assaulted by the clashing workers.

    Inputs by A Ghosh, 101Reporters 

  • 11:09 (IST)

    Mumbai's CSMT bore a deserted look as public buses remained off road 

  • 11:04 (IST)

    CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty detained in Kolkata 

    Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders from west Bengal, Sujan Chakraborty and Anadi Sahoo have been detained by Kolkata Police during bandh demonstration in South Kolkata. 

    Input by A Ghosh, 101Reporters

  • 11:00 (IST)

    Schools forced to shut in Tamil Nadu's Thiruvarur district  

    Schools have been forced to shut down as the strike affects the public transport in Tamil Nadu’s Thiruvarur District. Thiruvarur has a large majority of Left-wing supporters and the DMK union is lending its support to the national strike. About 2,000 autos were stopped and the private buses were not operated. School children and public are largely affected due to this two-day strike.

    Input by Swathy Reddy/101Reporters

  • 10:49 (IST)

    West Bengal govt plies special buses for candidates appearing for JEE Mains exam 

    West Bengal candidates appearing for JEE Main exam, which begins today (8 January) and ends on Saturday (12 January), will not be affected due to the two-day strike called by CPIM-led trade union CITU, News18 reported

    "The government is with the candidates, if they face any problem, the administration will surely help them," a newspaper report quoted Education Minister Partha Chatterjee as saying.

  • 10:46 (IST)

    Clashes reported in West Bengal's Burdwan; 4 people detained  

    Major clashes between Left party workers and local police were reported from Palsit area in Burdwan district of Wesr Bengal. The disturbance was reported after protesters tried to block the national highway this morning. Four people have been detained so far. 

    Input by A Ghosh, 101 Reporters

  • 10:39 (IST)

    Workers of Bhilai steel plant abstain from work, stage dharna outside industrial unit 

    The impact of the two-day strike in Chhattisgarh’s Bhilai Steel Plant, Asia's largest steel plant, was witnessed in different parts of the city. Employees of the plant staged dharna at Boria Gate and the main gate of the plant. CISF and police personnel have been deployed to deal with the situation. CITU, INTUC, AITUC and HMS have supported the strike. At the same time, other groups including Steel Workers Forum, Chhattisgarh Mazdoor Sangh, Diploma Association and others have stayed away from the strike. 

    Input by Hitesh Sharma, 101 Reporters 

  • 10:35 (IST)

    Watch: Bharat Bandh turns arterial roads into kids playground in Odisha

  • 10:28 (IST)

    Maharashtra govt provides special buses as BEST buses remain off roads 

    The state-run Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has provided special buses for Mumbai as of city's civic transport undertaking BEST buses remained on strike. The MSRTC has run a total 40 special buses since morning. Fifteen state buses were operated for office goers from Thane to Mantralaya, said MSRTC spokesperson Abhijit Bhosale, The Times of India reported. 

    Over 33,000 BEST employees were on an indefinite strike since midnight over their demands, including higher wages, paralysing bus services and causing inconvenience to nearly 25-lakh daily commuters.

  • 10:22 (IST)

    Heavy police deployed in Barasat city after school bus attacked 

    Policeman laced with riot gear were deployed in heavy numbers in Barasat city of the North 24 Parganas district. However, despite this, the trade union workers along with CPM workers are still trying to stop the government buses and other vehicles. Buses are being vandalised and commuters are being forced to turn back by CPM cadres. 

    Input by A Ghosh, 101 Reporters 

  • 10:13 (IST)

    Shutdown call halts traffic in Puducherry; over 500 policemen deployed 

    Normalcy has been affected in the Union Territory of Pondicherry due to the nation-wide strike called by trade unions. Protesters pelted stones at the buses which were trying to move towards Cuddalore and other neighbouring districts. Autos and share rickshaws also remained off roads. Most shops have been shut down and many schools remain closed. Commuters have been badly affected as all the means of transport came to a halt. The administration has deployed nearly 500 police personnel in and around the city.

    Input by Swathy Reddy/101Reporters

  • 10:09 (IST)

    School bus attacked in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal; clashes reported in Asansol, Kolkata

    A school bus was attacked in Barsat area of North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal where protesters tried to enforce a bandh. Reports of massive damage to public property was also received from other parts of the state, including Kolkata, Hooghly, Asansol.

  • 09:58 (IST)

    Bus service in Belagavi badly hit by shutdown call; many commuters stranded at bus stands

    The Bharat Bandh called by trade unions has seen mixed reaction this morning in Belagavi city, Karnataka. While CBT (City and Central Bus Stand) has called for a complete bandh, buses from other cities have arrived at the bus stand. Though schools and colleges were shut today as a precautionary measure, many students were not aware of this and had to turn back from the Belagavi bus stand.

    Auto rickshaw unions have been supporting the bandh but many auto rickshaws came to the roads this morning. Buses from other cities have been arriving. As CBT has called for a complete Bandh people who had come to Belagavi found hard to travel back to their cities. Apart from three to four buses leaving from Belagavi city this morning, no buses left and buses from Belagavi to other cities are completely stopped. 

    Akhil, 101 Reporters

  • 09:52 (IST)

    Schools, colleges closed in Odisha, Karnataka in view of Bharat bandh

    As a fallout of the trade union bandh call, schools and colleges in parts of Karnataka and all of Odisha remained closed on Tuesday in view of the bandh. Kerala government has left the decision to shut the schools with the local administration. 

  • 09:46 (IST)

    Meanwhile... Assam's Dibrugarh sees total shutdown as state political parties observe bandh against Citizenship bill 

    The bandh supporters managed to enforce the shutdown in most parts of Dibrugarh district in Assam. Vehicles were not seen playing on roads, shops remained closed, and AASU activists were holding protests at various places in the city. In addition to the nationwide trade unions protest, an 11-hour-bandh has been called in Assam today by AASU to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. North East Students' Organisations (NESO) has also called an 11-hour North East bandh today against the bill. 
     

    Input by Avik Chakraborty/101Reporters

  • 09:41 (IST)

    Bandh takes effect in parts of New Delhi too even as Delhi Metro, auto rikshaws continue service

    The massive bandh, collectively called by trade unions, bankers associations and transportation workers seems to be taking effect in parts of the national capital as well. 

  • 09:27 (IST)

    Odisha govt closes schools; trade unions block roads in Bhubaneswar 

    Members of Central Trade Unions held protests and blocked roads in Bhubaneswar demanding minimum wages and social security schemes among other things. The protesters were turning back office goers and other vehicles plying on the streets to enforce a total shutdown in Odisha's capital city.

    Meanwhile, the Odisha government has ordered that all schools should remain closed today as a preventive measure. 

    Image by BB Mohpatra, 101 Reporters 

  • 09:17 (IST)

    Protesters ransack buses in Hooghly district; TMC workers clash with bandh supporters in Asansol

    At Hindmotor in Hooghly Bandh suporters ransacked a bus as they were trying to block the GT Road in the city in support of Bharat bandh called by the left parties. Meanwhile, tension prevailed in Asansol as ruling party's workers tried to prevent the striking workers from enforcing the shutdown.   

    Input by A Ghosh, 101 Reporters 

  • 09:12 (IST)

    Tension in Asansol as protesters turn violent during nationwide labour strike

    Tension prevailed in Asansol during the band called by the Left wing trade unions against the 'anti-people' policy of the central government. SBSTC buses run by the West Bengal government was allegedly ransacked by the supporters of trade unions following which, Jamuria police reached the spot and dispersed protesters.

    On the other hand, there was fresh tension at Hutton road of Asansol city when the bandh supporters forcefully tried to shut down the shops and the private buses. Later, there was a clash when Trinamool Congress workers went to stop the bandh supporters from forcefully disrupting the state bus service near the Hutton road. 

    By A Ghosh, 101Reporters

  • 09:00 (IST)

    Strike takes affect in Karnataka; buses, taxis likely to stay off roads throughout today

    With state transport buses likely to stay off theroads, commuters, office goers who use the service mayface the brunt. However, the metro service in Bengaluru, as also auto and taxi service, are likely to function as usual. Hotels, malls and film theaters are also likely to function as usual, with their unions extending "moral" support to the strike. Bank services are likely to be disrupted.

  • 08:52 (IST)

    CPM workers arrested in Kolkata 

    Kolkata Police detained CPM workers protesting in support of the 48-hour nationwide strike called by Central Trade Unions on Tuesday, ANI reported. Their demands include minimum wages and social security schemes among others. 

  • 08:41 (IST)

    Govt to amend Trade Union Act amid nationwide shutdown today 

    Even as ten central trade unions (CTUs) have called for a nationwide workers’ strike on January 8-9, expected to be among the biggest strike actions in India, the government will introduce a Bill in Lok Sabha to further amend the Trade Unions Act 1956. 

    Union minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar will introduce a Bill to further amend the Trade Unions Act, 1926. 

    the Bill proposes to grant statutory recognition to trade unions at both the central and state-level. However, unions have pointed out that the Bill seeks to vest the government with the discretionary power in recognising the trade unions, departing entirely from the existing practice based on tripartite (employees, employers and government) consensus.

  • 08:38 (IST)

    10 trade unions, bankers' association support nation-wide strike

    Ten central trade unions — INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, AICCTU, UTUC, TUCC, LPF and SEWA — have also called for a nationwide general strike on 8-9 January against what they call "anti-people" policies of the Centre and have placed a charter of 12 demands before the central government. 

    The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India have informed the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) of the two-day nationwide strike on 8-9 January. 

  • 08:35 (IST)

    Trade unions, bank employees, transportation workers on two-day strike

    While trade union have called for a two-day Bharat Bandh on 8 and 9 January, bank employees are also set to go on strike on the same days. Banking services are likely to be affected on 8-9 January as a section of PSU bank employees are going on a two-day strike in support of the nation-wide strike call given by 10 central trade unions against the government's alleged anti-worker policy. 

Bharat Bandh Latest Updates: The West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Right has sent a show cause notice CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty and other party office bearers. The commission is aggrieved over the attack on school bus in Barasat. The commission said that "such dangerous and unconstitutional move by a political party is a violation of child rights under the juvenile justice Act.

A bunch of students travelling to give their exam in Burdwan were attacked by Left-wing protesters. The private vehicle in which the students were travelling was suddenly hit by stones. Despite repeated requests by the students that the protesters let the car go, the angry mob broke the car's front screen with sticks and forced the students to turn back.

The strike affected the pilgrims to the Sabarimla Lord Ayyappa shrine who were trying to reach Pamba base camp to begin their trek to the hill shrine. Supporters of the strike blocked trains in most parts of the state and private bus operators and state-run Kerala State Road Transport Corporation were also forced to remain off roads in face of massive protests.

Hundreds of Ayyappa devotees, who observe a difficult 40-day-Vratham before they come to Sabarimala, were found stranded at railway stations and bus stands in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Patghanamthitta, Ernakulam and Palakkad districts.

Santosh Kumar Gangwar was listed to introduce The Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill, 2019. A CPM MP pointed out that the bill is being presented on a day workers in the entire country are on strike to demand better working conditions for the working class. "The sole purpose is to determine a criteria for the recognition of a trade union, the current Act only grants registration," he said.

He has opposed the introduction of the bill as per Rule 70 of the House, as per which such amendments should be accompanied by a memorandum explaining the need for such proposals.

Protesters vandalised the Bharatiya Janata Party's office in Dibrugarh, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal's home district. Protesters raising slogans against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill vandalised the BJP office situated at Amolapatty just 100 meters from Amolapatty police outpost. Security forces are deployed in the area to control the situation.

In Bengaluru, BMTC buses have been plying their regular routes like it’s any other working day. Namma Metro is operational and auto rickshaws largely remain available on the roads. But establishments remain closed. The famous MTR hotel on Lal Bhag road, Lal Bhag Grand Hotel, Vidhyarthi Bhavan in Basavangudi and many other hotels are closed with no takers for their hot coffee and idlies.

Bharat Bandh 2019 Updates: French tourists stranded in Keralas Alappuzha amid protests; shikaras, hotels bear deserted look in tourist town

Trade union march at Kannur in north Kerala. Image procured by TK Devasia

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders from west Bengal, Sujan Chakraborty and Anadi Sahoo have been detained by Kolkata Police during bandh demonstration in South Kolkata.

The state-run Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has provided special buses for Mumbai as of city's civic transport undertaking BEST buses remained on strike. The MSRTC has run a total 40 special buses since morning. Fifteen state buses were operated for office goers from Thane to Mantralaya, said MSRTC spokesperson Abhijit Bhosale, The Times of India reported.

A school bus was attacked in Barsat area of North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal where protesters tried to enforce a bandh. Reports of massive damage to public property was also received from other parts of the state, including Kolkata, Hooghly, Asansol. 

The bandh supporters managed to enforce the shutdown in most parts of Dibrugarh district in Assam. Train services were shut in Hooghly and in Odisha's Bhubaneswar, traffic was halted at NH16. The bandh has hit early morning commuters and office goers the worst

At Hindmotor in Hooghly, trade union supporters and CPM workers suporters ransacked a bus as they were trying to block the GT Road in the city in support of Bharat bandh called by the left parties. Meanwhile, tension prevailed in Asansol as ruling party's workers tried to prevent the striking workers from enforcing the shutdown.

The Central Trade Unions have called for a 48-hour nationwide strike accusing the Narendra Modi government of neglecting demands on minimum wage, universal social security, workers’ status, including pay and better facilities. States, like West Bengal, Assam and Odisha were the worst affected on Tuesday morning. Kolkata police detained CPM workers protesting in support of the 48-hour nationwide strike called by Central Trade Unions on Tuesday, ANI reported. Their demands include minimum wages and social security schemes among others.

While trade union have called for a two-day Bharat Bandh on 8 and 9 January, bank employees are also set to go on strike on the same days. Banking services are likely to be affected on 8-9 January as a section of PSU bank employees are going on a two-day strike in support of the nation-wide strike call given by 10 central trade unions against the government's alleged anti-worker policy.

Central Trade Unions Monday said around 20 crore workers will go on a 2-day nationwide strike from Tuesday to protest against the government's alleged anti-worker policies and unilateral labour reforms.

"As many as 10 Central Trade Unions (CTUs) have joined hands to go on a 2-day nationwide strike from tomorrow. We expect 20 crore workers to join the strike.

"This is the largest number of workers from formal and informal sectors joining the strike against anti-people and anti-worker policies of the BJP-led central government," Amarjeet Kaur, General

Secretary of AITUC, told reporters here in a joint press conference of the 10 CTUs. She said sectors like telecom, health, education, coal, steel, electricity, banking, insurance and transport among others are likely to support the strike.

"We will go on protest march from Mandi House to Parliament in New Delhi on Wednesday. Similar protests would be done across the country," she said. Kaur said the CTUs are also opposed to unilateral labour reforms.

"We have given suggestions on labour codes. But during discussion...trade unions' demands were rejected. We went on strike on 2 September, 2016. We also did 3-day 'Mahapadav' (agitation) from November 9-11 in 2017. But the government did not come for dialogue rather went ahead with unilateral labour reforms," she said.

The 10 CTUs going on strike include INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC. RSS affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) will not participate.

"The government has failed to create jobs and grossly ignored unions' 12-point charter of demands. The Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on labour issues has not called unions for any discussion since September 2, 2015 strike. This has left us with no other option but to go on strike," Kaur said.

In a joint statement, the CTUs also alleged that the government undermined tripartism and continued its "aggressive attack with arrogance on the lives and livelihood of the working people."

They are also opposed to the proposed amendments in Trade Union Act, 1926 saying those are irrational and extremely damaging to the independent functioning of unions.

The unions claim that farming communities through their associations have also extended support to the strike. Student and teacher organisations of various universities have also declared support, the statement said.

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Updated Date: Jan 08, 2019 14:33:15 IST

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