Sunday, Nov 27, 2022

Bharat Bandh: Nationwide Strike Enters Day Two, Here's All That Has Happened

A joint forum of central trade unions including INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC amongst others is protesting against the government policies affecting workers, farmers, and people. Bank unions are protesting against Centre's move to privatise two public sector banks.

Representational Image
Representational Image PTI

The two-day nationwide Bharat Bandh called by a joint forum of central trade unions enters day two today. The strike has been called by the Central Trade Union to protest against a number of policies adopted and implemented by the Centre affecting workers, farmers and common people. 

What is the strike all about and who are supporting it?

A joint forum of central trade unions is protesting against the government policies affecting workers, farmers, and people. The central trade unions that are part of this joint forum are INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC

Their demands include scrapping of Labour Codes, no privatisation in any form, scrapping of National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), increased allocation of wages under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act) and regularisation of contract workers.

 In a statement, the joint platform has said central trade unions and independent sectoral federations and associations will stage a 'dharna' at Jantar Mantar from 11.30 am onwards on the second day of the strike on March 29 for their 12-point charter of demands.

Bank unions are protesting against the government's move to privatise two public sector banks as announced in Budget 2021-22. They are also demanding an increase in interest rate on deposits and reduction in service charges.

What happened on day one?

According to the joint forum of central trade unions , on day one, at least eight states including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Assam, Haryana and Jharkhand witnessed the bandh-like situation.

Agitations were held in many industrial areas across states including Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, they added.

Public transport was off the road and train services were hit while banking operations were affected in Odisha on Monday.The impact of the two-day strike was visible in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Berhampur and also in the industrial belts as the transport services were disrupted. The bank employees' unions participated in the cease work, protesting against the Banking Laws Amendment Bill 2021 and the Centre’s plan to privatise public sector lenders. 

Normal life was disrupted at some places in West Bengal in the wake of a two-day nationwide strike called by central trade unions from Monday.Operations at offices, educational institutions and commercial establishments were unaffected in most parts of the state, even as the trade unions backed by the Left Front exuded confidence that the strike would be successful on both days.

What is expected on day two?

It is expected that the essential services including healthcare, electricity and fuel supplies are likely to remain unaffected like Monday while the public transport and banking services may undergo partial disruption owing to the All India Bank Employees Association's adherence to the nationwide strike. 

Public offices and educational institutions are likely to stay unaffected by the trade unions' strike. 

(With PTI Inputs)