Left-backed trade unions countrywide strike today

August 20th, 2008 - 11:11 am ICT by ANI  

Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, Aug 20 (ANI): A nationwide strike called by the Left-backed trade unions today is likely to hit operations in the banking, insurance, aviation, railways and various other government sectors.
Eight trade unions and 40 employees federations are participating in the strike to protest against the anti-labour policies of the Centre.
As the employees of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) also have decided to join the strike from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., the air traffic across the country is affected, with many flights cancelled or delayed between major cities.
The striking airports employees are protesting against the privatisation of airports and the rationalisation of pay scale of executives and non-executives staff and filling of vacant posts.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed 250 skilled personnel to maintain safety and fire services at 21 airfields across the country.
The consequences of the strike will be felt more in the Left-ruled states of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, as the trade unions have plans to stage demonstrations and block rail and roads traffic in the day-long agitation to protest against the Government’’s economic and labour policies.
The unions have a six-point charter of demands, which includes curbing inflation, a comprehensive Unorganised Workers Bill, loan-waiver scheme for farmers, proper implementation of labour laws, removal of anomalies in the Sixth Pay Commission among other things.
The unions supporting the general strike are the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Hind Mazdoor Sabha, All-India Central Council of Trade Union, Trade Union Coordination Centre and All-India United Trade Union Centre.
The Bharatiya Janata Party backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) and the Congress supported Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) are abstaining from the protest.
In New Delhi, the AITUC General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta will lead a massive demonstration from Jantar Mantar to march to Parliament at 12:30 p.m.
The strike is also likely to affect defence production, pharma, steel manufacturing and other sectors. Farmers in several states are planning to organise blockades, which may hit railway and road traffic.
The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) said in a joint statement that the bank employees would strike work in protest against mergers of nationalised banks, among other issues.
On Monday, nearly 80,000 employees of the State Bank of India (SBI) and its seven associate banks went on strike in protest against the governments decision to merge the State Bank of Saurashtra (SBS) with the SBI.
This is the third such nationwide strike faced by the United Progressive Alliance Government since coming to power in May 2004. (ANI)

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