National strike affects offices, schools in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 30 (UNI) The functioning of State and Central Government offices and schools in Kerala was today affected by the All India strike called by pro-Left unions to protest the Centre's policies, including interim relief, revamping of the new pension scheme and lifting the ban on recruitment.

Reports from across the State said attendance in most offices was thin. The schools were also closed as some of them had declared an holiday yesterday.

In Thiruvanthapuram, where the majority of the Government offices function, including the Secretariat, the attendance was poor.

In some offices, the employees who did not participate in the strike were not allowed to enter.

A Kochi report also showed low attendance in the Government offices.

A report from Kozhikode said majority of Government employees, including teachers struck work in the northern district following the nationwide strike by the Left-led workers unions to press their demands. Almost all the Government educational institutions in the region were closed, in the absence of teachers.

In Kozhikode, less than ten per cent of the total 3,000 employees reported for work in the district collectorate, paralysing its function, a top official said. Postal services were the worst affected in the district with Post and Telegraph workers joining the agitation en masse. Highlighting their demands, the striking employees took out a demonstration in the city later in the day.

Reports from neighbouring districts of Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur said the strike was near total.

Meanwhile, the public transport system was not affected as the employees did not take part in the strike.

UNI

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