Strike amid low business sentiment uncalled for: Industry

February 28th, 2012 - 5:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai/Kolkata, Feb 28 (IANS) India’s industry termed Tuesday’s general strike called by 11 central trade unions as “unfortunate and completely misplaced” at a time of economic slowdown and low business sentiment.

“The strike is completely misplaced and unfortunate. I do not see any point in calling the shutdown when the economy is under stress. Almost all the businesses are under stress. The strike will result in revenue losses for the country. It will affect business,” L&T; Infrastructure Finance Chief Executive Suneet K. Maheshwari told IANS.

“The strike is not going to serve the interests of the working class either,” Maheshwari observed.

Consumer durable major Godrej said strike at any point of time is not good for the economy as it leads to production loss.

“Any form of strike is not good for the economy as it means loss of production. In any business scenario, shutdown is uncalled for,” Godrej Consumer Products Executive Vice-President P. Ganesh said.

Eleven central trade unions, including INTUC, BMS, CITU, AITUC, UTUC, AIUTUC, HMS, TUCI and NLO, participated in the 24-hour general strike, demanding steps to control the rise in prices of essential commodities and creation of more employment opportunities.

Unions of seven banks have also called for nationwide strike Tuesday. The bank unions were opposing the “unilateral imposition” of the Khandelwal Committee recommendations on outsourcing of non-core activities to the private sector.

Condemning the strike, industry lobby Assocham said it would hurt investors’ confidence.

“It was not required. It is not an acceptable way to demonstrate. No economy in the world gained from shutdowns,” said Debmallya Banerjee, Assocham eastern and north-eastern council co-chairman.

“The industry is apprehensive of a return to the Bandh culture… The bandh culture and the loss of manhours is damaging the economy,” P. Roy, director general of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, averred.

Industry body FICCI, however, said the one-day strike would not hurt the economy too much.

“The country’s fiscal deficit is much higher than the loss of revenues to be incurred by the industry in the one-day shutdown,” FICCI Secretary General Rajiv Kumar told IANS.

Kumar also said it was a token strike which was a legitimate instrument for the working class.

Global business and technology consulting firm Ernst and Young Vice President (Markets) Sanjay Diwakar said the shutdown would impact the economic growth of India and that it was time trade union leaders take a different approach.

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