Strike begins, normal life unaffected in TN

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Chennai, Aug 20 (UNI) Banking operations were crippled, but normal life by and large remained unaffected in Tamil Nadu as the day-long general strike called by major trade unions to condemn the frequent hike in prices of petroleum products and the 'anti-people' polices of the Centre, began this morning.

Though lorries and few autorickshaws were off the roads, the state government buses plied as usual.

The state government had only given moral support to the strike called by trade unions like the CITU and the AITUC to press their demands, which included curbing the rising prices of essential commodities, minimum wage, job security, widening the Public Distribution System (PDS), removing negative aspects from the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission and strict enforcement of labour welfare laws.

Shops and business establishments were open and hotels and restaurants also functioned normally. Schools also functioned as usual.

Very few autos were seen plying in the city. But people were not put to any hardship as the Metropolitan Transport Corporation and the State Express Transport Corporation employees did not join the stir.

Though the PSU banks wore a deserted look as part of their nationwide stir, the state and Central government offices reported normal attendance.

However, banking operations were crippled as various bank unions and federations had called for a nationwide strike today to press their charter of demands.

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