The two-day nation-wide general strike called by 10 Central trade unions against the BJP government’s anti-worker policies, opposing privatisation of public sector entities and in support of their demands was marked by protests in different forms in Tiruchi and other districts in the Central region on Tuesday.
Employees of public sector banks other than the State Bank of India and the Indian Overseas Bank, employees of Life Insurance Corporation affiliated to All India Insurance Employees Association and some Postal and BSNL employees joined the strike.
Business operations at public sector banks remained hit for the day in Tiruchi and other districts in the region due to the strike by employees attached to the All India Bank Employees Association and Bank Employees Federation of India.
Central trade unions including the CITU, AITUC and INTUC had called for the strike also demanding among others scrapping of new pension scheme, opposing merger of banks, policies encouraging contract work and the proposed amendment to the Trade Union Act.
Police sources said road roko agitations were held at 13 places in Tiruchi, Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts in the central region leading to the arrest of over 450 protestors. Attempts by CPI-M and CPI members at Thanjavur and Kumbakonam to resort to rail roko agitations were foiled by the police who arrested over 50 persons, said the police.
A group of CPI-M members resorted to rail roko at Koradachery in Tiruvarur district resulting in the detention of the Ernakulam – Karaikal Tea Garden express train for about 15 minutes. Around 75 persons were arrested by the police.
Demonstrations by different trade union members were held at over 30 places in the region. In Tiruchi, around 87 members of the Saalai Paadhugaapu Sammelanam affiliated to the CPI-M were arrested near the Chathram bus stand after they attempted to picket the Teppakulam post office a few distance away.
A group of bank employees staged a demonstration in Tiruchi demanding among others scrapping of new pension scheme and opposing merger of banks.
There was no transaction in any of public sector banks other than the SBI and the IOB as employees attached to the two major unions struck work in Tiruchi district that accounts for nearly 200 branches, said G. Ramaraju, Tiruchi district general secretary, All India Bank Employees Association.
Business operations were also hit in public sector banks at Pudukottai, Ariyalur, Perambalur and Karur, besides Thanjavur, he added. The strike, however, did not affect normal life of the people as shops and business establishments functioned as usual and so were the movement of buses and trains.