Banking Operations Hit by Strike in MP | Banking operations in Madhya Pradesh remained affected on Wednesday, the second day of the two-day strike called by central labour unions. Around 14,000 employees from 5,000 out of the total 7,426 bank branches in the state stayed away from work on Wednesday as well.
Normal life was also disrupted in Goa and Odisha where public transport was affected and tyres were burnt on roads. In Kerala, a treasury branch of the State Bank of India was attacked and trains were blocked in various parts of the state as the 48-hour trade union strike entered its second day. Lakhs of commuters in Mumbai continued to face hardships due to an indefinite strike called by the BEST, city's civic transport.
Train Services Hit, Public Transport off Roads, SBI Branch Attacked in Kerala| Train services were disrupted, public transport remaind off roads and an SBI treasury branch attacked on the second day of the nation-wide trade union strike, even as shops in suburbs of major towns in Kerala were open on Wednesday. The strike also affected the movement of pilgrims to the Sabarimala hill temple, even though the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation had arranged bus services from various destinations to Pamba. The tourism sector was also affected.
Mumbai Better Off on Last Day of National Strike| The two-day strike by the central trade unions across spheres had a mixed impact in the financial capital on the last day Wednesday, with activities not being impacted much. Most banks, including the state-run ones which have higher quantum of unionised workers, continued with normal operations on the second day of the two-day strike that began on Tuesday, when most of the civic buses kept off the road.
7.82 Crore Loss For KSRTC| Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has incurred a total loss of Rs 7.82 crores during the two-day strike called by 10 central trade unions in the country. On the second day of the strike, 17 KSRTC buses, including seven Volvo two Non AC and eight Karnataka Sarige buses, were damaged and the corporation has incurred a loss of Rs 2.32 lakhs from this. In total, 2171 KSRTC schedules were cancelled along 8.26 lakh kilometres on Wednesday.
Bharat Bandh: Violent Protests, Rail Blockades Witnessed in Many States| Sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal and Kerala and rail blockades in certain states were witnessed on Wednesday on the second day of Bharat Bandh, which also saw a partial disruption of banking and insurance services across the country. Other sectors like mining, road transport, power supply too bore the brunt of strike call given by country's 10 major central trade unions.
Banks, Post Offices Affected By Strike in Gujarat | Banking and postal services continued to be affected in Gujarat on the second day of the two-day strike called by central trade unions on Wednesday. Unions also staged protest marches and demonstrations in major cities. Workers in industrial units at Ankleshwar in Bharuch and those at ports also joined in the shut-down.
Banking Services Interrupted in Telangana | Barring interruption to banking services in some of the public sector banks, it was business as usual in Telangana on Wednesday during the second day of the two-day nationwide stir called by central trade unions. Employees belonging to the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India participated in the strike affecting banking transactions partially across the state.
Trains Stopped By Protesters in TN | Trains were stopped by protesters at a few places in Tamil Nadu during the second day of the two-day nationwide stir called by 10 central trade unions. In Chennai, protests were held at Mount Road and Perambur and Guindy railway stations. Protests were also held in front of Madurai railway station and near the old bus-stand in Thanjavur district and Tiruchirappalli station affecting movement of vehicles and rail traffic.
Trade unions in Delhi marched with flags and posters from Mandi House. All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), All India Central Council of Trade Union (AICCTU) and Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) were present at the march.
Delhi - trade unions march from Mandi House now - united colours of trade union flags challenging the Modi Govt's assault on workers rights! pic.twitter.com/y9q6tvLZbQ— CPI-ML Liberation (@cpimlliberation) January 9, 2019
Click to watch this video I Bharat Bandh: Two-Days Union Strike Hits Normalcy Across Country
Ten central trade unions - INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, AICCTU, UTUC, TUCC, LPF and SEWA - have also called for a nationwide general strike on January 8-9 against what they call
Demonstrations across Karnataka I In Davangere, protesters disrupted the bus services, staged demonstration and burnt the effigy of the prime minister to vent their anger against the central government's workers policies. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses remained stationed in their respective depots across the state as protesters damaged the vehicles.
Train services were hit on the second day of the strike in Odisha as trade union activists staged 'rail roko' at several places including Bhubaneswar, Balasore and Berhampur. Vehicles, including government and private buses refrained from plying and a large number of passengers were seen stranded in bus stands in many places. In Cuttack, the activists staged protest demonstrations and blocked roads at various places.
Bihar's political parties attend protest I Bihar’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party, Hindustani Awam Morcha & Left parties participated on the second-day of strike called by Central Trade Unions demanding minimum wages and social security schemes among others.
Visuals from Patna: RJD, SP, HAM & Left parties participate in the two-day nationwide strike called by Central Trade Unions demanding minimum wages and social security schemes among others. #Bihar pic.twitter.com/rx8pnACkGS— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2019
CLICK TO READ I Bharat Bandh: SBI Treasury Branch Attacked, Manager Manhandled
The bank was ransacked by a group of people who arrived at the branch and demanded that the staff shut down operations on day 2 of the strike.
Protesters gather in Delhi I A small group of protesters have gathered at Delhi's Sansad Marg for the second-day of the trade union strike. Meanwhile, in Goa transport was disrupted as private buses and tourist taxis remained off roads. While no incidents of violence were reported in Goa, absence of private buses which ply on majority of the public transport routes, left passengers in distress, despite the fact that additional buses from the state government-operated Kadamba Transport Corporation (KTC), were pressed into service.
A suspected bomb was found on the rail tracks at North 24 Parganas in West Bengal today. “Our bomb disposal squad has already rushed to the spot. After disposal of the bomb, line will be cleared,” said CPRO Eastern Railway’s Nikhil Kumar. Train services in Eastern Railway zone were disrupted.
West Bengal: A suspicious item was found on railway track at North 24 Parganas in Ashok Nagar,earlier today. Nikhil Kumar, CPRO Eastern Railway says,“It's a suspected bomb. Our bomb disposal squad has already rushed to the spot. After disposal of the bomb, line will be cleared.” pic.twitter.com/6lkDplRlQV— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2019
CLICK TO READ | Mumbai Central Railway to Run Extra Services Today Amid BEST Workers' Strike
Over 32,000 BEST employees went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday over various demands, including higher salaries.
Suspected bomb cleared in West Bengal I The suspected bombs found near Habra’s Ashoknagar in West Bengal has been disposed of by civil authorities as of 10.25 AM. Normal services resumed over the Bangaon section after the bombs were cleared. No disruptions have been reported in Asansol and Malda divisions.
Sujan Chakraborty along with other protestors were detained by police while participating in the two-day nationwide strike called by Central Trade Unions demanding minimum wages and social security schemes among others. Meanwhile, in Coochbebar district, supporters of the strike pelted stones at autos as a result of which the drivers stopped the services.
Kolkata: CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty along with other protestors detained by police while they were participating in the two-day nationwide strike called by Central Trade Unions demanding minimum wages and social security schemes among others. #WestBengal pic.twitter.com/umdCeJitKc— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2019
Clashes in West Bengal I A government bus in Cooch Behar in West Bengal was vandalised by protesters. Two people including bus driver were injured. Police are now present are the spot.
#WestBengal: Protesters during 48-hour Central Trade Unions strike vandalised a government bus in Dinhata, Cooch Behar; 2 people including bus driver injured, police present at the spot pic.twitter.com/1lmOpwgQGO— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2019
All India Trade Union Congress General Secretary Amarjeet Kaur has said that there will be a complete bandh in Goa and Bihar, while 100 per cent strike is expected in other parts of the country too. Farming communities, through their associations, have also extended support to the strike. Student and teacher organisations of various universities have also declared support. Meanwhile, public transport in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala remain disrupted.
Very few Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses are plying within Bangalore, although most KSRTC buses have turned out in the state on the second-day of the strike. The few BMTC buses which are operating are likely to return to the depot as the employees fear protests. Meanwhile, more trade union members have been seen on the roads with flags.
Crude bombs found in West Bengal station I Five crude bombs were found on a railway track at Habra station in North 24 Parganas, West Bengal. Train services between Sealdah and Bongaon have been stopped. Meanwhile, two students were injured in the Howrah district after protesters started pelting stones at a bus at Shanpur Mor on the Jhikira-Howrah route.
Howrah: Two students injured after protestors participating in the two-day nationwide strike called by Central Trade Unions demanding minimum wages and social security schemes among others, pelt stones at a bus at Shanpur Mor on Jhikira-Howrah route. #WestBengal pic.twitter.com/R3YpOEmUFs— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2019
Click to Read I On Day 1 of Bharath Bandh, KSRTC Incurs Loss of Over Rs 5 Crore
Meanwhile, only 36.6% of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses were on road.
“The government merged the banks, ignoring the interest of bank employees and other people. 500 industrialists committed fraud of more than 10 lakhs crore and the government is doing nothing. I know people are facing problems due to our strike, but I would like to request them to support us because today's pain is tomorrow’s gain,” said Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI)’s all India secretary Joydeb Dasgupta.
The two-day strike by central trade unions evoked mixed response across the country Wednesday, as it entered its second day, with banking and transport services being affected partially and few incidents of violence seen in West Bengal.
As many as 10 central trade unions, except Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, are protesting against the government's alleged anti-labour policies and unilateral labour reforms. They had given a call for a two-day Bharat Bandh on January 8 and 9.
General Secretary Hind Mazdoor Sabha Harbhajan Singh Sidhu told PTI that there is 100 per cent strike in Assam, Odisha, Manipur, Meghalaya, Maharashtra and Goa.
"We got response in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan as well. In our protest march from Mandi House to Parliament in the capital, around 4,000 workers came on road to express their anguish...," he added.
Normal life was affected in Goa on Wednesday as private buses and tourist taxis remained off roads. Long queues of passengers were seen at various bus stands after the private buses association in the state shut operations.
Besides, lakhs of commuters in Mumbai continued to face hardships as an indefinite strike called by BEST, the city's civic transport undertaking, continued. There were only five buses plying on city roads.
Over 32,000 BEST employees went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday over various demands, including higher salaries.
Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from various parts of the West Bengal on Wednesday too. Stones were pelted at school buses in Howrah district. Similar incident were reported on Tuesday as well. There were similar incidents of stone pelting in other parts of the state too.
Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty was arrested once again on Wednesday for taking out a rally at a bus stand in Jadavpur in the southern part of the city. Chakraborty was first arrested on Tuesday for taking out a rally in support of the strike and was released in the evening.
Banking services were also partially affected for the second day, as a section of PSU bank employees came in support of the strike call. All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees' Federation of India (BEFI) have supported the strike, which has impacted banking operation where these two unions are strong.
However, the operation in SBI and private sector banks remained unaffected as other seven unions in the banking sector are not part of the strike.
According to AIBEA General Secretary C H Vekatchalam, cash transactions, clearance of cheques, remittances, bills discounting and foreign exchange transactions were impacted. Cheques worth about Rs 20,000 crore could not be cleared by clearing houses all over the country on Tuesday, he claimed.
The report said a treasury branch of the State Bank of India in Thiruvananthapuram was attacked and trains were blocked in various parts of Kerala on Wednesday on second day of strike.
At the Thiruvananthapuram railway station, Thiruvananthapuram-Hyderabad Sabari Express and Venad Express were blocked, while the Kottayam-Nilambur passenger train in Kalamassery was held up for a while.
In many places in Kerala, shops and commercial establishments remained shut. Buses and auto-rickshaws were also off the roads in the state. Many shopkeepers alleged that they were asked to put down their shutters. Most of the textile and spices shops in the Broadway Market in Kochi and Mittayi Theruvu (sweet street) in Kozhikode were open.
Sabarimala pilgrims, tourists, social and religious functions have been exempted from the strike. Earlier in the day all-India Trade Union Congress General Secretary Amarjeet Kaur told PTI that there will be a complete bandh in Goa and Bihar, while 100 per cent strike is expected in other parts of the country too.
She said that due to UGC exams, which started from Tuesday, some state transport departments would not participate completely in the strike in the interest of students. The exams are scheduled in some states on Wednesday as well. The strike had received mixed response on Tuesday.
Educational institutes, rail, banking, postal and transport services are expected to witness disruption on Wednesday too. The unions have alleged that the government has failed to create jobs and grossly ignored unions' 12-point charter of demands.
They also said that 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 which left them with no other option but to go on another strike.
In a joint statement issued on Monday, 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. 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 had said
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