Trade Unions' 'Bharat Bandh' affects bus,
train services, gets support from political parties



CITU activists raise slogans during a protest organised in support of the Trade unions' nationwide strike, in Shimla, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.

New Delhi,  January 8 : Transportation including the bus and railway services were badly affected in various parts of West Bengal, Odisha and elsewhere on Wednesday following the 'Bharat Bandh' call given by the trade unions against the central government.

As many as 10 Central trade unions along with different federations are participating in the 'Bharat Bandh' being organised to protest against "anti-worker policies of BJP government".

Members of Left supported organisations take part in a demonstration at Shaheedi Park in support of the nationwide strike called by ten trade unions in protest against the alleged anti-people policies of the Centre, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. 
Protesters blocked railway tracks in Howrah and Kanchrapara in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas on Wednesday. They raised anti-government slogans and criticised the Center for its policies. Commuters faced difficulties as bus services were also affected. CPI (M) protesters also stopped the operation of state transport buses.

In Siliguri, a North Bengal State Transport Corporation(NBSTC) bus driver was seen wearing a helmet in wake of protests during Bharat Bandh.

In Odisha, the public agitation started around 6 am at Talcher, Bhubaneswar, Brahmapur, Bhadrak and Kendujhargarh. Due to the protests, the following trains are detained en route at different stations --Bhadrak-Brahmapur passenger at Bhadrak, Kendujhargarh-Bhubaneswar passenger at Kendujhargarh, Bhubaneswar-Balangir InterCity at Bhubaneswar, Howrah-Yesvantpur Express at Brahmapur, Ichhapur-Cuttack MEMU at Brahmapur and Puri-Rourkela passenger at Bhubaneswar.

"The Central government is neglecting the labourers. Prices of petrol and diesel have increased. We want permanent jobs. We want to know when we will get permanent jobs?" said a protester in Bhubaneswar.

Insurance employees stage a protest demostraion in support of the nationwide strike called by ten trade unions in protest against the alleged anti-people policies of the Centre, in Hyderabad, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. 
Protests were held in Delhi and in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala also. In Tamil Nadu, a protest was held on Mount road in Chennai.

RPF Inspector RR Kashyap informed that few protesters tried to stop trains at Rajendra Nagar Railway Station in Patna, however security personnel removed managed to stop them.

However, in Mumbai, locals didn't face problems in commuting and stated that trains services are normal in the city. "I did not face any problem. Trains are running on time," a local said. Similar was the situation in Hubli, Karnataka where bus and auto services are running as usual.

The Bharat Bandh call has received support from several political parties and leaders too.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hailed the trade unions 'Bharat Bandh' call and said that the "anti-people" and "anti-labour" policies of the centre have created 'catastrophic' unemployment.

"Modi-Shah Govt's anti-people, anti-labour policies have created catastrophic unemployment & are weakening our PSUs to justify their sale to Modi's crony capitalist friends. Today, over 25 crore workers have called for Bharat Bandh 2020 in protest. I salute them," Gandhi tweeted.

Members of various unions demonstrate outside the LIC Building in Hazratganj during the trade unions' nationwide strike, in Lucknow, Wednessday, Jan. 8, 2020. 

In its mouthpiece Saamana, Shiv Sena took extended its support to trade unions' 'Bharat Bandh' call and slammed the central government for its policies and decisions.

The ten central trade unions including CITU, INTUC, among others have given the call for strike with a 12-point charter of demand. Trade union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) is not taking part in the strike.

Earlier on Tuesday, speaking to ANI Tapan Sen, general secretary of CITU had said, "All 10 central unions along with all national independent federations of central and state governments, bank, defence production and other service sectors have called a strike against anti-worker and anti-national policies of BJP government."

"Workers are going on strike with a 12-point charter of demands. We are demanding equal wage for equal work for contract workers who do the same work but receive less than half wage than regular workers," he added.

The bank strike is part of the Bharat Bandh call given by trade unions to protest against the labour reforms and economic policies of the Central government, according to reports.

The protestors' demand during the Bharat Bandh includes the Centre to drop the proposed labour reforms.

Insurance employees stage a protest demostraion in support of the nationwide strike called by ten trade unions in protest against the alleged anti-people policies of the Centre, in Hyderabad, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. 

LIC employess in Lucknow participate in 'Bharat Bandh' by trade unions

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh),  January 8  : Employees of All India Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) here on Wednesday participated in the 'Bharat Bandh' call giving by trade unions against the policies of the central government.

They raised slogans against the Centre and its policies. "We are protesting against changes in labour laws, disinvestment of the public sector, taking LIC to the stock market, inflation and unemployment. We demand social protection for labours," said Alok Tiwari, chief of All India LIC Employees Association.

"Independent federations are protesting to give a message to the government that their policies are not in favour of citizens," he said.

Members of various trade unions block the railway traffic during a nationwide strike called by ten trade unions, in Amritsar, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.

Bus and train services in various parts of the country including West Bengal and Odisha have been affected due to protests held during Bharat Bandh.

The ten central trade unions including Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), among others have given the call for strike with a 12-point charter of demand. Trade union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) is not taking part in the strike.

Bharat Bandh: Banking services hit in Telangana

Hyderabad, Jan 8 :  Banking services across Telangana were severely hit by the nationwide strike called by various trade unions protesting the central government's 'anti-people' policies on Wednesday.

However, most of the shops and business establishments were open while transport services remained unaffected. The strike by as many as three lakh employees and workers was underway with the participation of members of various trade unions in the state, senior leader of Telangana CPI, Sudhakar said. Operations in all public sector banks except SBI were affected.

Trade union workers take out a march during their nationwide 24-hour general strike, in Thiruvananthapuram, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.

"All public sector banks employees are participating in the strike. There are no counter operations such as cash deposits or withdrawals at banks. Even though officers are participating in the strike, they extended cooperation," All India Bank Employees Association National Secretary B S Rambabu told PTI.

A senior official of SBI said there was no impact of strike on the bank's operations as its officers and award staff associations decided to stay away from Bharat Bandh.

The state-owned Singareni Collieries Company said, though some of its employees were on strike, there will not be much impact on coal production. The state CPI said there will be "gate meetings" and dharnas across the state as part of the Bharat Bandh.

Trade union activists take part in a procession to support the ten trade unions' nationwide strike over various demands, in Chikmagalur, Karnataka, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.

The central trade unions are protesting against labour reforms, FDI, disinvestment, corporatisation and privatisation policies and pressing for a 12-point common demand charter of the working class relating to minimum wage and social security, among others.

Strike: Banking services partially hit in Gujarat

Ahmedabad, Jan 8 : Banking services were partially hit in Gujarat on Wednesday due to the nationwide strike called by 10 central trade unions to protest against the Central government's "anti-labour" policies.

Transport services are absolutely normal across the state while offices of various business establishments also remained open.

Although trade unions claimed that factory production was hit in many parts of Gujarat, industrialists said it was business as usual.

"Banking services in Gujarat were partially hit as employees associated with All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA) joined the strike," said Dhiraj Desai, general secretary of Bank of Baroda Employees Union.

All-India strike in Punjab.

As a result, some nationalised banks are either shut or are only partially functional, he added. However, the strike has had no impact on the operations of the State Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank and Bank of Baroda in the state, as majority of the employees of these banks are associated with other unions, which have not joined the strike, he said.

While some employees of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) joined the strike, operations were running smoothly in all the major offices across Gujarat, a senior LIC official said.

Meanwhile, leaders from the farming community stated that farmers have also stayed away from the Bharat bandh.

"Hardly any farmer or any organisation working for them have joined the strike," Sagar Rabari of Khedut Ekta Manch said.

Senior trade union leader Amrish Patel claimed that industrial production was hit in the state due to the strike. However, industrialists have refuted the claim.

"I have not come across a single incident of strike today. All factories and services are running without any interruption in Gujarat. Strike has not impacted businesses," said Bhavesh Lakhani, executive committee member of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


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