Ten central trade unions are observing a 24-hour nation-wide bandh as a protest against the proposed changes in various labour laws, reports Indian Express.
The bandh call came after talks between them and the government to support their 12-point charter of demands failed. Union leaders have claimed that around 15 crore formal sector workers are on strike.
Their demands include urgent measures to contain price rise, contain unemployment, strict enforcement of basic labour laws, universal social security cover for all workers and a minimum wage of Rs.15,000 per month.
They are also demanding enhanced pension for workers, stoppage of disinvestment in PSUs, stoppage of contract distribution and removal of ceiling on bonus and provident fund.
The list also includes compulsory registration of trade unions within 45 days, no amendment to labour laws unilaterally and stopping of FDI in railways and defence.
The bandh has disrupted public business, banking and transport services all over India.
In Delhi-NCR, commuters had a harrowing time as a large number of autos and taxis remained off the road.
In West Bengal, though Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed that all employees will lose a day’s pay if they go on leave.
The bandh‘s partial impact was seen on suburban trains while shops, markets and business establishments remained closed in Kolkata.
Trade Unions’ nation-wide strike: Clash between TMC & CPIM workers in Murshidabad (West Bengal) pic.twitter.com/mu4KdCFflC
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In Mumbai, cab and auto-rickshaw drivers stayed off roads protesting against the low base fare, affecting services of nearly 10,000 cabs.
In Kerala, public and private bus services, taxis and autorickshaws were off the roads. Only few private cars and two- wheelers were seen plying.
In Bihar, workers of trade unions belonging to the Congress and the Left parties blocked national and state highways and, at some places, stopped passenger and long-distance trains.
State-run bus services were affected in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.