Normal life has come to a standstill in Odisha and other parts of the country, as 11 registered trade unions have called for a two-day nation-wide strike to protest the UPA government’s policies. Buses, autos and taxis stayed off the road in many cities, while bus services are also affected.
Despite the appeal from Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and other senior Ministers, the trade unions went ahead with their strike against the “anti-people” policies, which include price rise, poor implementation of labour laws and disinvestment in PSUs and FDI in Retail.
Since the bank unions and government employees have joined the strike, it has added to the woes of common people. In some places, autos are still available, but they charge high. People are having a tough time to reach their destinations. Most schools and colleges remain closed today. Shops and business establishments, including fuel stations are also shut down.
In Bhubaneswar, the Leftists trade union workers protested at the Railway Station and many other important places. Around 20 CITU workers were arrested at Acharya Vihar. Many other protesters are being holed up across the Odisha. The East Coast Railway Labour Union and Auto-rickshaw Association in Odisha are supporting the bandh. Train and flight services in Bhubaneswar are badly affected.
All private and government buses stayed off the road in Bhubaneswar and adjacent areas despite the previous assurance that they would not join the bandh call. The strike will continue for another day, resulting in a lot of inconvenience to the people.
In Mumbai, the autos and taxis decided against joining the strike, bringing relief to the commuters. Situation is said to be normal in Kolkata, but things may change rapidly as the day progresses. In Delhi, people are having tough time to deal with the situation.
The strike is jointly called by Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh (BMS), All India Trade union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC) and other affiliated organisations.