Services Hit As Bharat Bandh by Trade Unions Underway, To Continue on 29 March

Strike notices were given by unions in sectors like steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, banks, and insurance.

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A nationwide two-day strike by central trade unions to protest against the central government's "anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people, and anti-national policies" that affect workers began on Monday, 28 March, affecting banking services and leaving railway tracks blocked in places.

This decision was taken after a meeting of the joint platform of central trade unions on 22 March 2022.

This includes the 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 Coordination Centre (TUCC), Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), and the United Trade Union Congress (UTUC).

Strike notices were given by unions in sectors like steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, banks, and insurance.

Left Front workers block railway tracks during a nationwide strike called by central trade unions to protest against Centre's policies, in Bhubaneswar on Monday.

(Photo: PTI)

However, emergency services have been excluded from the strike.

Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court has directed the state government to issue an order restricting the state government employees from participating in the two-day nationwide strike.

The court also observed the participation of state government employees in the strike as illegal.

  • Bank employees take part in a protest during a two-day nationwide strike, in Amritsar, Monday, 28 March.

    (Photo: PTI)


Later in the day, the Kerala government stated that in line with the directions of the high court, "disciplinary proceedings to be initiated against those employees who abstain from work by participating in the strike that started today and will continue tomorrow, 29 March, as part of National Level Strike".

The Effects of the Strike

The strike affected banking services and production of coal and steel in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Monday, reported IANS.

Bank employees joined the strike affecting services in most of the public sector banks in both the Telugu states.

Meanwhile, coal production in the state-owned Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) in Telangana was hit as employees struck the work to oppose the Centre's move to auction four coal blocks.

With the majority of 42,000 workers participating in the strike, coal extraction was affected in all 23 underground and 19 open cast mines.

In certain parts of Kerala, buses run by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) were off the roads.

The police in the state have made arrangements for those who need emergency travel facilities to reach railway stations and hospitals.

Strike notices were given by unions in sectors like steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, banks, and insurance.

Security personnel stand at guard during Bharat Bandh in Guwahati, Assam, on Monday

(Photo: PTI)

The state's high court has restrained five unions at the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) from participating in the strike.

In West Bengal, even though the trade unions could be seen protesting on the streets, the state government has asked all offices to remain open and ordered employees to report for duty.

Members from the Left Front gathered in huge numbers and blocked railway tracks at the Jadavpur Railway Station in Kolkata.

In New Delhi, Left and DMK MPs held a protest at the Gandhi statue in Parliament over the two-day 'Bharat Bandh', reported ANI.

Strike notices were given by unions in sectors like steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, banks, and insurance.

Activists of Left Trade Unions stop a train at Jadavpur Station to protest against the Centre's policies allegedly affecting farmers and workers, in Kolkata on Monday.

(Photo: PTI)


Who is Participating in the Strike?

The strike notices have been given by unions in the sectors such as coal, steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, copper, banks, and insurance.

The All India Bank Employees Association had earlier said in a post on Facebook that the banking sector will be joining the strike to protest against the central government's bid to privatise public sector banks, as well as the Banking Laws Amendment Bill 2021.

Strike notices were given by unions in sectors like steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, banks, and insurance.

Bank employees stage a protest during the trade unions' two-day nationwide strike supported by the All India Bank Employees Association, in Kolkata on Monday

(Photo: PTI)

The State Bank of India has issued a statement informing customers that banking services might be impacted on these days.

"We advise that while the bank has made necessary arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices on the days of strike, it is likely that work in our bank may be impacted to a limited extent, by the strike," SBI said in a regulatory filing.

The Power Ministry has advised all the state-run utilities and other agencies to be on high alert and ensure round-the-clock electricity supply and stability of the national grid, according to NDTV.

As per an advisory by the Ministry, States must ensure power supply to essential services such as hospitals, defence, and railways and suggested setting up of a 24x7 control room for information dissemination and handling any kind of contingency.


Amarjeet Kaur, General Secretary, All Indian Trade Union Congress (AITUC), told PTI that they are expecting participation of over 20 crore formal and informal workers with mass mobilisation of workers across the country. Workers from various sectors such as steel, telecom, postal, income tax, copper, and insurance are also expected to participate in the strike.

She added that workers in the entire coal mining belt in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh have also joined the protest.

(With inputs from ANI, PTI, NDTV and IANS.)

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Topics:  Trade Unions   bharat bandh 

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