German retail major Metro opens store in Mumbai amid black flags

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Mumbai, May 9 (UNI) Hundreds of workers joined the vendors, small retailers and citizens in opposing the first store of Metro, the German retail giants, in the city's north-eastern suburb of Bhandup.

The demonstrators, with banners of ''Metro Go Back and ''Boycott Metro'', marched from the Centre for Indian Trade Union (CITU) office, yesterday in Bhandup, a suburb which was once home to many large industries and is now witnessing their closure with residential towers and Malls springing up on the vacant industrial land.

The Metro store, which can house a hundred small shops, is located in a Mall complex on the LBS Marg, facing the Guest Keen Williams (GKW) factory lying closed following a lockout.

Addressing the demonstrators, representative of an NGO, India FDI Watch, Advocate Vinod Shetty claimed that the multinational store had violated its licence of wholesale ''Cash-n-Carry'' by selling goods in retail, thus circumventing the Indian Governments ban on entry of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into retail and selling agricultural goods in violation of the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act.

The demonstrations ended by giving a call to intensify their agitation against Metro by mobilising all the small shopkeepers from the area to keep their businesses closed for one day in protest. They were addressed by leaders of various organisations, including a forum of the traders and small retailers, Vyapar Rozgar Suraksha Kriti Samiti (VRSKS).

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