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Mixed response to trade unions strike

The 48-hour general strike called by the trade unions on February 20 and 21 has had little effect in West Bengal but in Kerala the

strike hits normal life.

There was little impact of the two-day strike called by central trade unions on the first day on Wednesday in West Bengal with situation being normal and peaceful across the state.

Shops and markets were mostly open in the metropolis.

Private buses and taxis were less, though state buses were present in large number on the roads, police sources said.

Barring blockades at Hasnabad and Diamond sections of the Eastern Railway, train services were normal in Howrah and Sealdah divisions, the sources said.

Flight schedule was also normal at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.

Commissioner of Kolkata Police Surajit Karpurakayastha was on the roads in the morning to review security.

“Everything is absolutely normal,” he said.

ADG (law and order) Banibrata Basu said no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.

The West Bengal government has issued a warning to employees against being absent during the strike.

The state government has also asked shops and markets to remain open or face administrative action, including cancellation of trade licence.

CITU leaders have criticised the state government for this saying that it was undemocratic and illegal.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that her administration would ensure that life was normal and there would be no shutdown in the state.

She has also said that the government would pay in case of damage caused during the strike.

Strike hits normal life in Kerala
The 48-hour nationwide strike called by central trade unions hit normal life across Kerala on Monday with workers from varied sectors, including transport and banking, staying away from work to protest the UPA government’s economic and labour policies.

Early reports said buses and taxis were off the roads and shops and restaurants remained closed. Train services were not affected.

The Congress-led UDF government has declared ‘dies non’ (no work, no pay) as pro-Left service and teachers unions are also striking work.

Security has been tightened and no violence has been reported from anywhere. Police have offered protection to those willing to work and public conveyances ready to ply, police sources said.

Emergency services like health care, milk supply and media have been exempted from the strike, AITUC leader Kanam Rajendran said.

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.

Apart from unions owing allegiance to the Left, the pro-Congress INTUC and pro-BJP BMS are also participating in the strike.

However, pro-UDF government service and teachers unions have not joined the strike.

Source : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/

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