It is the first time since Independence that trade unions have joined hands for a strike over a series of issues from the Government's liberalisation policy.
The government had last week appealed to the unions to desist from going on strike with Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge saying they were ready to discuss the matter.
Though Kharge has reportedly said most of the issues concerned were addressed, he had assured them of sorting out those issues, related to labour.
However, the trade Unions turned down the request.
Eleven major trade unions including Congress affiliated INTUC, Shiv Sena-backed Bharatiya Kamgar Sena and UPA ally Indian Union Muslim League's trade-wing STU, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Employees Federation of LIC, DMK's Labour Progressive Front are participating in the dawn-to-dusk strike.
The strike has been called to register protest against rising prices of essential commodities and to make demands including disinvestment of Public Sector Undertakings, amendments to the Minimum Wages Act and compulsory registration of trade unions.
Banking operations are also likely to take a hit due to the strike call as more than eight lakh employees would be participating in the strike.
All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General Secretary, C H Venkatachalam, has said the Unions would stage a dharna in front of the Memorial Hall in the city to voice their protest.
Tamil Nadu is home for about 16,000 branches of banks employing about 50,000 people.
Besides the agitation by the AIBEA, protests by various trade unions participating in the strike will take place in the city in different locations.