All India Strike 2013 Latest News:Two-day bank strike from February 20
Mohua Chatterjee, TNN | Feb 17, 2013, 06.08AM IST
NEW DELHI: There may be no banking transaction for two whole days in the country, as "not just the nationalised bank unions including their officers but even some of the private banks except ICICI Bank, have agreed to strike work on February 20 and 21," said CPI leader and AITUC general secretary Gurudas Dasgupta on Saturday.
Petrol pumps could also run out of gas for those two days, as oil and gas supplies will be hit. Road transport, telecom sector, coal production and supply, oil and gas supply, power sector defence production, are going to participate in a big way in the 48-hour strike, the trade union leaders said, while addressing a joint press conference here on Saturday.
With some state governments like in Odisha, Bihar, Karnataka among others have decided to support the strike, life for the common people are bound to be hit in these states and beyond. The railways and the air services are the only ones which will function as, the trade unions have failed to rope them in.
The two-day strike called by the country's 11 registered trade unions cutting across party lines, in protest of price rise and the government "anti-people economic policies" are likely to hit normal life in many parts of the country, with major sectors like banking, transport, ports, power and telecom have agreed to join the protest call.
A worried UPA government tried to reach out to the trade union leaders and ask them to withdraw the strike call, but labour minister Malikarujun Kharge's efforts in a holding meeting with them failed to yeild any result. "The last minute meeting called by the labour minister on February 13 resulted in further strengthening of resolve for strike as government could not come forward to resolve any of the issues concerning labour ministry," Dasgupta said.
While New Delhi may respond the least to the strike call, the country economic capital Mumbai will badly hit by the strike as the Shiv Sena has agreed to join the trade unions in protesting against the government's hard hitting policies. As a result even the Mumbai state transport buses are not going to ply on day-one of the strike. Since there are examinations on february 21, the buses will ply while the rest of the service and infrastructure sectors will continue to strike work. In a massive show of strength, all the trade union leaders are planning to hold a massive rally in Mumbai on February 18, where even Sena leader Uddhav Thackaray may join in.
Apart from all the 11 trade unions, 2013 independent unions have also joined the protest.
"For the first time all trade unions have come together for a two-day strike as government has not taken any action to look into the problems of sky rise inflation, disinvestment in public sector units and non-implementation of labour laws," Dasgupta said. Last year they had come together for a one-day strike.
The strike has been called jointly by the 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 such organisations.
The trade unions are demanding pensions for everyone along with removal of ceiling on bonus and provident fund. "We want government to take concrete steps like stopping the deregulation of petrol and diesel prices. They should have price fixation policy. They should have universal ration system, they should control hoarding and black marketing also," AITUC's Amarjeet Kaur said. Opposing the contract labour policy, the Unions have demanded regular employment for jobs of perennial nature.
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