Normal life across the country was hit by the All-India Traders Unions strike protesting against the 'anti-labour' policies of the UPA government on Tuesday.
Workers across India have gone on strike to express their anger at soaring prices and to back demands for improved rights for employees. Buses, taxis and autos remained off roads and the shops remained closed in most parts of the country.
Even state-run phone companies, postal workers and workers linked to the ruling Congress joined the protest. The rail traffic, however, was not affected and no blockade was reported from anywhere in the early hours. There was no disruption in electricity or water supply and the health sector exempted from the strike.
Although, the strike won't have much effect on the banks and finance market, but the traders speculate some volatility in the band market if volumes are lower than normal.
The trade unions have been demanding minimum wages of Rs10,000 per person as against Rs3,000 -3500 in different states. Among others, the unions are demanding abolishment of contract labour by making all 5 crore contract labourers permanent in places of their work. The striking trade unions include the Left party supported CITU, UTUC, AITUC, and Congress' INTUC, besides BMS, HMS, TUCI and NLO .
The trade unions are unhappy with the UPA government for not moving ahead with the implementation of Contract Labour Amendment Act, which will provide equal rights and wages to the contract labourers.
While the strike is likely to be fully effective in non-UPA governed states, the chief minister of Bengal has issued a circular to all government employees, warning against participation in the strike.