Strike By Trade Unions Has Crippling Effect Across Nation!
About 15 crore workers are on a strike all over the country till 6 pm today and essential services like banking and public transport have been affected in some places.
Ten major trade unions have called the ‘Bharat bandh’ over the government’s pro-business initiatives, after talks with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley broke down.
The unions are demanding that the government dump plans to sell off stake in state-run companies to boost the public purse and to shut down unproductive factories.
They are also opposed to the government’s proposed labour reforms expected to diminish the influence of trade unions and make the labour market more flexible.
Many banks have shut their doors for the day.
The strike has affected transport and long lines of commuters and school children could be seen at bus stops early on Wednesday, while passengers were stranded at airports as taxis and rickshaws stayed off the streets.
West Bengal, where unions enjoy significant clout, reported early impact with clashes between the opposition Left, which supports the bandh and the ruling Trinamool. Some trains were stopped by protestors.
The capital city of Kolkata was mostly deserted with bank branches, shops and other businesses closed. Many schools are closed too.
Unions like the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), which is backed by the ruling BJP, and the National Front of Trade Unions are not participating in the strike.