Bharat Bandh: nation-wide strike partially affects banking sector

All trade unions except Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh are participating in the strike.

A 48-hour nation-wide strike called by various trade unions to protest the Centre’s policies started on Monday, affecting some places and sectors in the country. The strike was called by a joint forum of central trade unions to protest the government policies affecting workers and farmers in the most. All trade unions except for Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) are participating in the strike.

In Kerala – under Left rule – roads were empty in many places with buses run by the Kerala Road Transport Corporation off the roads. Few private vehicles could be seen. In West Bengal, some areas were affected. Protests and rallies taken out by the Left unions could also be seen. The state government in Bengal has asked employees to report to duty and added that all offices would remain open.

The banking services were affected in public sector banks partially as a section of employees stayed away from work, it was reported. But private banks remained largely unaffected. The bank unions are protesting the government’s move to privatise two public sector banks. The unions have also demanded increase in rate of interest on deposits and reduction in service charges.

Emergency services have been excluded from the strike. However, unions in railways, defence, roadways, electricity have decided to join the strike. Other than these sectors, those from steel, oil, telecom, postal, insurance, etc. are also joining.

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