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Ambala trade union leader killed as 2-day strike begins

Feb 20, 2013 08:05 AM IST India India

New Delhi: It was a tragic start to the nationwide bandh in Haryana where a Haryana Roadways employee was killed in Ambala at the roadways depot when he was crushed by a bus following a confusion called over the trade union strike. Chaos broke out after the Haryana Roadways staff tried to stop officials from allowing the buses to move from the depot.

In the ensuing confusion, the cashier of the roadways came under a bus which led to his death.

Condemning the murder, AITUC General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said the strike would continue despite such a heinous attack. Apart from unions owing allegiance to the Left, the pro-Congress INTUC and pro-BJP BMS are also participating in the strike.

The unions have put forward a charter of 10 demands such as urgent steps to control price rise, strict enforcement of labour laws in all places of work, social security net for workers in the unorganised sector, end to disinvestment in PSUs and raising minimum wage to Rs 10,000 a month.

Meanwhile, normal life is likely to be affected in the national capital in view of the two-day nationwide strike beginning from Wednesday as various trade unions in the city have extended their support to the agitation. Functioning of public transport, various hospitals, educational institutions and banks may get hit as a section of workers engaged in providing these services has announced their support to the strike called by 11 trade unions.

Commuters, particularly school children and office goers in the national capital may face inconvenience as a number of auto-rickshaws and taxi unions have decided to support the strike.

Supply of fruits and vegetables may also be affected as major trade unions in the Azadpur whole sale market have said that they will join the strike. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has instructed top officials of the administration to ensure that people in the city do not face any inconvenience during the two day strike.

She held a meeting with senior officials and issued necessary instructions. Five major auto-rickshaw and taxi unions announced that they will also join the strike to demand a hike in auto and taxi fares. A number of bus unions, including a section of Delhi Transport Corporation employees, have also extended support to the strike.

The Delhi government has cancelled leave of all DTC employees and asked senior officials of the corporation to be at bus depots from early morning to ensure a smooth running of the DTC bus service.

Delhi Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami said around 1,000 RTV (rural transport vehicles) and tourist buses will ply on DTC routes for next two days. "These buses have been allowed to ply on DTC routes under special service. The buses would display DTC route numbers and charge DTC fares," he said.

A statement from Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's office said all the major trade unions of DTC including DTC employees Congress, Delhi Parivehn Mazdoor Sangh, DTC Worker's Union and DTC Unity Center have agreed not to participate in the strike.

The strike may also affect the working of Municipal Corporations as some of the employees, particularly the cleaning staff, have said they also join the strike. Government officials said that non-medical staff at various state-run hospitals have also indicated joining the strike.

(With additional information from PTI)