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Rediff.com  » News » Normal life not to be hit in Tuesday's bandh

Normal life not to be hit in Tuesday's bandh

February 27, 2012 15:50 IST
Mumbai's Azad Maidan will be to be the venue for mass meetings and demonstrations for those participating in the nationwide general strike called by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions on Tuesday.

In Maharashtra, the strike has been backed by the Shiv Sena. Party spokesperson Harshal Pradhan told rediff.com, "This is largely an industrial strike and the Shiv Sena is politically backing the bandh. However, life will be normal in the city. We don't plan to paralyse any of the services and our backing is completely political in nature."

Across India, especially in Mumbai, no banking activities will be facilitated. Vishwas Utagi, secretary for the All India Bank Employees Association, said, "Close to 10 lakh banking employees and officers will be participating in the strike and no banking facilities will be available in 70,000 bank branches across India." There will also be no refilling of ATM, he added.

Close to 5,000 trade unions from the state have agreed to extend their support to eleven central trade unions. Udayrao Patwwardhan, vice president, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, said, "Almost 2 crore employees working in the organised and the unorganised sector of Maharashtra will be participating in the industrial badh on Tuesday. However, in cities like Mumbai, it has been left to the local unions handling essential commodities and services to participate in the bandh or not."

According to Sharad Rao, a veteran trade union leader based in Mumbai, emergency services such as the fire brigade, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, railways, hospitals, BEST services have been exempted from halting their works. "We don't want the common man to suffer, especially the Std X and Std XII students, who are appearing for their boards."  He, however, added that most of the union members have been requested to make their presence felt at the mass meeting to be held at Azad Maidan after their work hours," he added.

A L Quadros of the Taximen's Union told rediff.com that because they fall under the category of 'unorganised sector' they will not be participating in the strike. Shashikant Shetty, general secretary, Indian hotel and Restaurant Association, has also confirmed that there will be no participation from the hotel and hospitality industry. Goods and transports association is also towing the same line as AHAR.

The striking unions have demanded that the government takes effective measures to contain inflation, linking employment protection to concessions and incentives, strict enforcement of all basic labour laws, security cover for workers in the unorganised sector.

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A Correspondent in Mumbai