Bengaluru: Kerala was shut down on Monday by a 24-hour workers’ strike demanding the roll-back of a central order allowing fixed-tenure employment.

The strike was led by Centre of Indian Trade Unions, or CITU, affiliated to the state’s ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, jointly with 16 other trade unions.

Regional television reports said the strike paralysed life in the state. Shops and commercial establishments remained closed while most vehicles, including state transport buses, kept off the roads.

Most schools and government offices saw low attendance.

Separately, unhappy over the goods and services tax, restaurants also went on a strike with the result that almost all hotels remained shut for the day, reports said.

The unions are demanding a roll-back of a recent central government order allowing fixed-term employment across sectors.

“The amendment will enable employers to adopt a policy of hire and fire," said CITU Kerala leader Anathalavattom Anandan on Sunday.

Apart from CITU, the unions participating in the strike are Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Swatantra Thozhilali Union (STU), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) and United Trade Union Congress (UTUC).

Many smaller unions also endorsed the protest call. The centre amended the Industrial Employment (Standing Order) Central Rules 1946 with a gazette notification on 16 March.

PTI contributed to this story

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