#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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A deserted flyover during the nationwide strike called up by trade unions in Kolkata on Wednesday. Photo: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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State Road Transport buses parked at depot during the nationwide strike called by trade unions against the Modi government's draft National Road Safety Bill, in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Photo: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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A view of the General Post Office in Mumbai during the strike on Wednesday. Photo: Mitesh Bhuvad/PTI

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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A woman walks past parked autos during a strike by auto rickshaw and taxi drivers in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo: Kamal Kishore/PTI

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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Air passengers at NSCBI Airport in Kolkata on Wednesday. Photo: Ashok Bhaumik/PTI

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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The Reserve Bank of India in Kolkata was closed for the day during the nationwide strike on Wednesday. Photo: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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Trade union workers at a rally in Kochi, Kerala, on Wednesday. Photo: PTI

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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Activists of various employee unions including Anganwadi workers, municipal corporation unions, CTU and others during nation-wide strike against the proposed amendments to various labour legislations at Amritsar. Photo: PTI

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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Trade union members take part in a rally during the nationwide protest and bandh in Bengaluru. Photo: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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Bank workers take out a torch rally in Bhopal on Tuesday in support of 2nd September's strike. Photo: PTI

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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Trade union members protest in front of town hall in Bengaluru. Photo: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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Police arrest activists of the CITU and AITUC who were stopping a train near Guwahati Railway Station during their nationwide strike against the NDA Government's alleged "anti-worker" policies, in Guwahati on Wednesday. Photo: PTI

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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SUCI lady activists and police clash in Kolkata on Wednesday. Photo: Ashok Bhaumik/PTI

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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SUCI lady activists and police clash in Kolkata on Wednesday. Photo: Ashok Bhaumik/PTI

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

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Police try to close the gate of a police van as arrested trade union activists try it open during a protest in Kolkata. Photo: Dibyangshu Sarkar/PTI

WORKERS OF INDIA

#StandUpIndia: Strike affects normal life, hits transport and banking services

Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB

Ten central trade unions held a nationwide strike on Wednesday against the central government's proposed changes in labour laws and privatisation of state-run companies.

Normal life was affected in parts of Delhi, West Bengal, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Telangana. Financial services were hit as lakhs of employees in banking and insurance sectors across the country took part in the strike.

"Employees of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), nationalised banks, old private sector banks, cooperative banks, regional rural banks are participating in the strike," All India Bank Employees' Association General Secretary CH Venkatachalam said.

Incidents of violence were reported from parts of West Bengal. In Kolkata, striking workers clashed with the police. In Murshidabad, members of the Trinamool Congress scuffled with CPI (M) activists.

In Uttar Pradesh, striking employees affiliated to INTUC and AITUC clashed with members of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh.

In Kerala, public and private buses, taxis and autorickshaws were off roads. State-run bus services were affected in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

In Bihar, trade unions backed by the Congress and the Left parties blocked national and state highways and stopped long-distance trains.

Commuters in Delhi suffered as a large numbers of auto rickshaws and taxis remained did not ply.

Parts of Goa - Calangute, Ponda and Bicholim - remained shut.

The unions have a 12-point charter of demands, including withdrawal of labour law amendments, stopping privatisation and foreign investment in railways, insurance and defense, banning speculative trade in commodities, universalisation of the public distribution system, policies to address price hike and improvement of employment opportunities.

The charter also suggested an increase in the bonus ceiling as well as widening the coverage of provident fund and health insurance to include construction workers and those employed in schemes such as aanganwadis. The unions also demanded a minimum wage of Rs 15,000 per month.

Priyata Brajabasi

Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB