Employees’ strike disrupts public transport, banking operations; Kerala most hit
New Delhi: Public transport services were disrupted and banking and insurance operations deranged as more than a million employees across the country struck work against “anti-labour” policies, bringing life to a standstill in parts of some states like Kerala.
Most public sector banks did not do any public dealing while insurance companies’, including LIC’s, functioning was badly hit with employees staying away from work. Impact of the strike on public life was mixed across the country.
Transport services in some states like Kerala were hit as public transport buses were off the road.
Electricity generation and supply were largely unaffected even though coal dispatches were impacted due to strike in Coal India Ltd (CIL). But mining operations were affected.
Water supplies and phone services were normal even though workers at state-owned BSNL stayed away from work.
In national capital, nurses at government hospitals joined strike, disrupting services.
Industry association Assocham put the impact of the strike on the economy at Rs 16,000-18,000 crore.
The government said sectors such as railways, civil aviation and major ports remained “unaffected”, while banking and insurance, coal, telecom and defence production were “partially affected” and transport and steel saw only marginal impact.
Left-ruled Kerala saw the maximum impact as normal life was hit after public transport vehicles stayed off the roads and shops and business establishments downed shutters.
Buses were off the road in Congress-ruled Karnataka but shops, establishments, markets and hotels functioned normally.
Some auto and cab unions joined the strike but metro services were normal.
In Assam too, buses were off the road, hitting normal life. Left-ruled Tripura saw government offices, banks, schools and colleges remaining closed.
It was business as usual for public transport in Mumbai with suburban trains, autorickshaws, taxis and city buses operating normally.
The strike did not have any visible impact in TMC-ruled West Bengal with government and other offices functioning normally and transports services including state-run and private buses, trams, metro, trains being in service. Most of the shops and markets were also open.
Tamil Nadu too did not have much impact as transport services and other businesses functioned normally.
While in Telangana, State Road Transport Organisation buses were off the road, in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh shops in towns like Vijayawada downed their shutters in solidarity with the striking workers.
But for banking services, strike had no effect on any other sector in Gujarat. Thousands of workers in Goa marched in protest against the “anti-labour” policies of the central government.