New Delhi, Feb 20: The two-day nationwide strike called by eleven major trade unions today has impacted banking services and crippled public transport in major cities.
In Punjab and Haryana, the impact of the strike was felt on public transport services as a majority of state owned buses plying on inter-state routes remained off the roads.
Services in public sector banks have been hit with both bank employees and officers taking part in the two-day strike in protest against banking reforms and outsourcing etc.
“Employees of all public sector banks as well as old private banks will observe strike and banking transactions will be impacted,” said Naresh Gaur, Secretary, Punjab Bank Employees Federation.
Meanwhile, streets in Mumbai wore a deserted look as public transport, including auto rickshaws and buses remained off the roads.
A local, Chandu Lal Yadav, said the common man would be affected by the strike.
“The government should work towards protecting the interest of the labourers and should also work to solve their problems. This is the demand of the labourers. The strike would affect the daily wagers while the government will not face any loss,” said Yadav.
The trade union strike, which might cripple the economy, also affected the commuters in New Delhi.
Arvind Kumar, a passenger, expressed his ire as the auto rickshaw drivers charged double of what they used to charge earlier.
“The passengers are facing the brunt of the auto rickshaw strike. If we are getting the auto rickshaws then they are asking double of what they used to charge earlier. How will the passengers commute?,” said Kumar.
In Kolkata, Shubodip Bhaduri, a resident, said that officer-goers are facing a lot of problems as public transport was not plying on roads.
“The number of buses plying on the roads is less and the mini-buses are not available. The office-goers are facing the problem. I work at the airport and I am facing problem in commuting. That’s why I could not go to office today,” said Bhaduri.
The strike also left many passengers stranded at the bus stands and railway stations, as the authorities failed to make adequate arrangements for them.
“We are facing lot of problems as I am not getting anything to reach to my destination. I am waiting for the past four hours,” said Kishan Kumar, a stranded passenger in Kanpur.
The trade unions have put forward a charter of ten demands such as urgent steps to control price rise, strict enforcement of labour laws in all places of work, social security net for workers in the unorganised sector, end to disinvestment in PSUs and raising minimum wage to Rs.10,000 a month. (ANI)