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Monday, February 27, 2012

General strike set to hit nation, may spare city



New Delhi/Mumbai: Having rejected the Centre's belated bid to persuade them to drop their plan for the 24-hour general strike on Tuesday, central trade unions commanding the allegiance of lakhs of workers stepped up their efforts to turn the protest into a crippling nationwide shutdown. 
    Life will be severely impacted across the country for 24 hours if the trade unions succeed in pulling off the show of strength and solidarity in support of their demands: an end to contract labour, amendment 

to the Minimum Wages Act, an increase in gratuity payout and compulsory registration of trade unions within 45 days. 
    Among the sectors that are likely to be affected by the strike are the oil and gas industry, banks and insurance, aviation, defence (ordnance factories), posts and telecom, ports and the I-T department. 
    However,the impact on Mumbai is likely to be mixed. Local trains will run as scheduled. While BEST's King Long airconditioned buses will not ply, some auto drivers may choose to attend a morcha at Azad Maidan, inconveniencing regular commuters. Automen's 
union leader Sharad Rao and taxi union leader A L Quadros have reassured citizens that autos and cabs will ply as usual. While public sector banking services will be hit, the markets, as also schools and colleges, are expected to function normally today. 
WHAT MUMBAI CAN EXPECT TODAY 
WHAT WILL BE AFFECTED 

• Attendance at some central govt offices 

• BEST AC King Longs fully, other BEST buses partially 

• Autorickshaws in some suburban areas 

• Branch transactions in public sector banks 

• Cheque clearing in RBI 
WHAT WON'T BE AFFECTED 

• Essential services 

• Civic, state govt offices 

• Black-and-yellow, fleet cabs 

• School buses 

• Trains and flights 

• Schools and colleges (both private & public) 

• Retail shops, malls, petrol pumps, hotels and restaurants 

• Markets & ATMs 
IN OTHER METROS 
Normal life will be hit. But airports, trains, bus stations will be open in Delhi, Kolkata Bangalore. Transport will be affected in Chennai 
We've been forced to go on strike: TUs 
New Delhi/Mumbai: Cities across the country are bracing for the strike today. For the first time, Bharat Electronics and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will be taking part in the strike, according to trade union (TU) leaders.
    Apprehending that the strike will send out a wrong message against the government and its reforms agenda, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called Intuc leader G Sanjeeva Reddy on Friday evening for talks. While it seemed like an attempt to 
break the Congress's union away from the array of striking unions, Reddy refused to meet the PM unless he invited other TU leaders who have joined hands to call the strike. "My message to the government is that it won't make a difference by talking to me alone. If all the leaders are called then there is a possibility of finding a solution to this," Reddy told TOI. 
    "We could achieve this unity when all the trade unions and workers realized over the last two years that going on their own has not helped since the government has refused to pay heed to our demands," said Gurudas Dasgupta, Aituc chief and senior CPI leader. The date was decided last November to coincide with the tabling of the Union budget, but that got postponed. "We want industrial peace. We have been compelled to go on strike. Workers also lose their wage. Strike is the last option for us," Dasgupta said. 

In U-turn, Didi calls bandhs 'retrograde' 
Kolkata: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee was in a combative mood on Monday, calling bandhs and strikes "retrograde politics", as CPM's trade union wing Citu feared law and order problems because of the government's "aggressive posture". "The government cannot support bandhs. Whatever is needed will be done. One can't attend office with party badges," the CM said. "If the CPM had actually worked for 35 years instead of resorting to strikes and bandhs, Bengal would have reaped gold. The treasury wouldn't be empty. Strikes and bandhs are expressions of frustration and they serve only vested interests." she said. TNN

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