Strike cripples life in Tripura

February 28th, 2012 - 12:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Feb 28 (IANS) A nationwide strike called by 11 major trade unions to protest increasing prices, privatisation and other issues Tuesday crippled life in Left-ruled Tripura.

“The strike was total and successful with all levels of workers and general people expressing their anger against price rise, retrenchment, underpayment, poverty and many of the economic policies of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government,” Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) leader Pijush Nag told reporters here.

Most markets, shops and business establishments, government offices, educational institutions, banks and financial institutions were shut. Roads were deserted and rail services between Tripura and the rest of the country were also affected.

No business could be transacted in the Tripura assembly as employees and officials remained absent from office and picketed outside the house instead.

However, air services on the Agartala-Kolkata and Agartala-Guwahati routes have been operating normally, an Agartala airport official told IANS.

“The 24-hour shutdown remained peaceful. No untoward incident was reported from anywhere,” police spokesperson Nepal Das told IANS.

Buses between Tripura and Bangladesh and other northeastern states were also hit.

“India-Bangladesh trade was also badly hit as hundreds of trucks were stranded on the other sides of the Akhaurah checkpost near here due to the shutdown,” a customs official here said.

Eleven major trade unions, including CITU, backed by the state’s ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), BMS (Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh), the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and the Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), have called the strike in support of their demands.

The demands include proper implementation of labour laws, no privatisation of profit-making public sector undertakings, providing enough money for unorganised workers’ social security fund, and employment for those who lost their jobs during the global economic meltdown.

The unions have also been demanding abolition of appointments on a contract basis, bringing amendment to the Minimum Wages Act, providing for payment of pension to all categories of employees, and bringing down inflation, among others.

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