Bharat Bandh today: Trade Unions' strike set to hit normal life; what will be open and closed
New Delhi, Jan 8: Normal life is likely to be affected across the country following the two-day nation-wide general strike called by central trade unions against the alleged 'repressive' policies for workers by the Narendra Modi government.
The strike has been called by a consortium of ten central trade unions and has received support from organisations like the AITUC, CITU, HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, AICCTU, along with employees in the banking and insurance sector.
The central trade unions have accused the government of ignoring its demands on minimum wage, universal social security, workers' status, including pay and better facilities, and guard against privatisation of public and government sectors.
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) service, autorickshaws, taxi services and Banking services are likely to be affected. The strike will be effective from January 8 at 6 am to January 9 till 6 pm.
According to reports, buses and autos will stay off roads, aggravating problems for hundreds of daily commuters.
Transport will be hit in Karnataka
Four unions including Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) have extended their support to the protest. BMTC buses as well as KSRTC buses will not ply on January 8 and 9.
Schools to be shut
With transport being hit, schools and colleges are likely to be closed. District administrations have been given the authority to declare a holiday for schools and colleges depending on the situation there, officials said. Some universities have deferred the examinations.
University exams postponed
The semester examinations of Bangalore University and Tumkur university have been postponed and even the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) has postponed the B.Pharma and D.Pharma courses examinations.
Hotel, malls and theatres to function
Hotels, malls and film theatres are also likely to function as usual, with their unions extending "moral" support to the strike.
Emergency services available
Emergency services like hospitals, ambulance service, medical shops, milk booths will be open.
Namma Metro will function
Namma Metro will function as usual on these two days.
Banking services to be hit
Banking services across the country are likely to be affected on January 8-9 due to a nationwide strike, notice for which was served on Saturday by the All India Bank Employees Association (AlBEA) and the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI).
Farmers to join strike
Farmers across the country under the aegis of the Left peasant wings would join the two-day nationwide general strike on January 8 and 9 called by central trade unions against the alleged repressive policies for workers adopted by the Narendra Modi-led BJP government.
"AIKS and Bhumi Adhikar Andolan will observe 'gramin hartal', rail roko and road roko on January 8 and 9, the day trade unions are observing the nationwide general strike. This move is against the Modi government's failure to address rural distress issues, to save rural farmers' lands from the corporates. The farmers will extend all support to the ensuing general strike," said Hannan Mollah, general secretary of the CPI(M)-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha.
BEST employees firm on strike
Around 29,000 employees of the civic run transport service BEST are going on an indefinite strike beginning from Monday midnight for various demands despite an industrial court restraining them from taking the step.
Due to the strike, around 25 lakh passengers who travel by 3000 BEST buses that ply on streets of Mumbai city and the metropolitan region every day will be inconvenienced, a union official said late night.
Enough is enough, no bandh in Bengal: CM Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that trade unions called general strike would have no impact in the state.
"I do not want to spend a single word on this. In West Bengal, we have taken a stand of not supporting any bandh. Enough is enough. In the last 34 years, they (Left Front) have destroyed the state by calling bandh. There will be no bandh," Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.
The failure to fulfil the promise of creating over 1 crore jobs a year has been an important reason cited by the trade unions for organising the strike against the Modi government. According to Labour Bureau statistics, 1.55 lakh jobs and 2.31 lakh jobs were created in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Another major reason cited by the trade unions is the rise in prices of various daily use commodities.