Tepid impact of trade union strike in Karnataka

(EDS: updates with minister's quotes) Bengaluru, Jan 8 (PTI) The nationwide strike called by 10 trade unions in protest against the centre's 'anti-people' policies had no effect on normal life in the city and other parts of Karnataka, with most of the vehicles including government buses plying on Wednesday.

State minister for primary and secondary education S Suresh Kumar said the strike was a total failure.

While government buses including the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) were plying as usual, train services remained unaffected.

Schools, colleges and business establishments also functioned.

However, there was some impact of the strike at the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee yards where the labourers did not turn up.

Most of the bank officers and employees, especially of SBI, refrained from the protest, an SBI officer said.

Some Canara Bank employees joined the protest, a Canara Bank officer handling the Human Resource section said.

In Mangaluru, inter-state services of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation were suspended.

Some miscreants threw stones at a Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation bus at Madikeri town in Kodagu district.

According to AITUC state general secretary Vijay Bhaskar D A, the strike affected work in Peenya Industrial Area where a large number of people participated in a demonstration.

The main event took place in Bengaluru where a rally was taken out from the Town Hall to the Freedom Park, which later turned into a public meeting, Bhaskar said.

According to the AITUC office bearer, the strike had a good effect in Kalaburagi town where a large number of people turned up.

'The Kalaburagi event was successful there because we had incorporated CAA, NRC and NPR in our agenda,' he added.

Minister for primary and secondary education Suresh Kumar accused the trade unions of indulging in politicking rather than solving the problems of the working class.

He said the Centre was ready to discuss the issues raised by the trade unions but all of a sudden they gave a call for strike.

'It seems it is more of a political demand than the workers' demand. Those organisations are behind the strike which have been opposing the BJP and NDA,' Kumar said.

Central trade unions are protesting against labour reforms, FDI, disinvestment, corporatisation and privatisation policies. They are pressing for 12 common demands of the working class relating to minimum wage and social security, among others. PTI GMS BN BN

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