Kerala, Orissa, Assam, Telangana and Puducherry on Thursday witnessed total shutdown as normal life got partially affected in several other states in view of the nationwide strike organised by central trade unions. Over 25 crore workers had participated in the protest, the unions said.
The 24-hour countrywide strike has been called by a joint forum comprising 10 central trade unions to protest against the government’s new farm and labour laws, among other workers-related issues, as well as to raise various demands.
Several independent forums and associations were also part of the joint platform.
“"The states of Kerala, Puducherry, Odisha, Assam and Telangana have reported complete shut down. Tamil Nadu reported complete shut down in 13 districts, while the industrial strike continues in the rest of the districts. Punjab and Haryana have reported that the state road transport buses have not left their depots in the morning," the trade unions said in a joint statement.
“Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh reported 100 per cent strike, including at BALCO,” said the statement.
Sporadic clashes were reported in Bengal as the state got partially affected by the strike, as was Tripura.
Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Trade Union Co-ordination Centre (TUCC), Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) and United Trade Union Congress (UTUC) are part of the joint platform.
However, BJP aligned Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has not participated in the protest.
“Scheme workers, electricity employees, domestic workers, construction workers, beedi workers, hawkers, vendors, agricultural workers, self employed in rural and urban India are holding demonstrations at various places, even defying police restrictions,” the statement read.
Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) General Secretary Harbhajan Singh Sidhu told PTI that the number of workers who joined the nationwide agitation on Thursday exceeded the expected number of 25 crore.
He also said that coal mine workers along with those from defence, railways and other public sectors also supported the strike.
"Reports of successful strikes in coal and copper mines, including other mineral resource mines, have been received. The employees of postal, telecom and steel sector were also in action and gramin dak sevaks observed 100 per cent strike," the statement said.