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All-India shutdown call by trade unions: Bengal, Kerala worst hit

By Nairita Das

New Delhi, Sep 7 (ANI): Nine major trade unions have called for a 24-hour long nationwide shutdown today.

The strike has been called by the INTUC, CITU and other seven Central Trade Unions in protest against price hike of essential commodities and alleged anti-working class policies of the UPA Government.

Trade unions have also demanded that disinvestment in public sectors be stopped and substantial investment for social security in the unorganised sector be made.

AITUC general secretary and CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta said: "Nearly six crore workers are participating in the strike across the country.

"This is going to be biggest strike that ever happened in recent years in this country as after 63 years all the trade unions have come together on a common platform," Dasgupta added.

Trade unions earlier had drawn up a five-point charter "asking the government to curb the price rise but nothing was done," he said.

Dasgupta said that the strike would not be the last thing. If the situation does not improve, workers will march to Parliament in February next year.

BJP-affiliate Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), however, has kept itself away from the strike call.

Bengal and Kerala seem to be the worst hit due to the strike so far.

Over 100 flights to and from Kolkata have been canceled by major carriers.

Jet Airways (along with its low cost carrier Jetlite) have cancelled 70 flights in all, Kingfisher has cancelled 29 and Spicejet and Indigo have canceled 20 flights each.

According to reports there is near total shut-down in Kerala. Educational institutions and offices are closed, very few no buses are plying.

In Manipur, all shops, bussiness establishments and markets are closed. Even educational institutions are shut. Passenger buses have stopped their services.

The Railways, however, is kept out of the purview of the strike as Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has opposed the strike. (ANI)

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