Bhopal: Barring State Bank of India (SBI), employees of major banks, Public Sector Undertaking, BHEL, LIC, post office went on a 48-hour nationwide strike called by ten central trade unions in protest alleged anti-labour policies of the government on Tuesday. The strike evoked mixed response in the state. Banking operations, postal services and business at insurance companies remained affected on the first day of the strike as their employees refrained from work.

The protestors claimed that they did not allow the operations of red buses in the city. The 10 CTUs going on strike include INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU and AIUTUC, among others have called the strike in protest against against the alleged anti-labour policies of the Centre, divestment of PSUs, price rise of essential commodities and are demanding minimum wages of Rs 18,000 per month.

RSS affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) did not join the strike. In a joint statement, the CTUs alleged that the government undermined tripartism and continued its “aggressive attack with arrogance on the lives and livelihood of the working people. All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees’ Federation of India (BEFI) have extended support to the strike,• thus affecting banking operation• in the units where these two unions were strong.

They also oppose the proposed amendments in the Trade Union Act, 1926, saying those are irrational and extremely damaging to the independent functioning of unions. The unions claim that farming communities through their associations have also extended support to the strike. INTUC president RD Tripathi said, PSUs banks, LIC, BHEL, and other sectors are protesting against anti-employees policies of the central government, inflation and low wages. “

Banks, insurance firms and those working in other organised and unorganised sectors have joined the strike. Public transport was also affected as Red Bus did not ply in the state capital due to strike`. We did not allow the low- floor buses to ply.” SBI Officers Association zonal president Krishnan Hariharan informed that SBI has not joined the strike and all its branches would remain open during the two-day strike called by trade unions.