Workers’ strike to hit transport, banking, other services today1 min read . Updated: 08 Jan 2020, 01:07 AM IST
- More than 500,000 bank employees will participate in the general strike
- Farmers’ groups, university students’ bodies, informal workers’ unions, and govt scheme workers are expected to join industrial workers in the nationwide strike
NEW DELHI : More than ₹22,000 crore in bank transactions, road transport, coal production, and other essential services are likely to be hit on Wednesday as a result of the nationwide strike called by workers’ unions.
“Cash and cheque transactions between ₹22,000 crore and ₹25,000 crore will be impacted on Wednesday because of our strike," said C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees Association.
About 200 million workers from all sectors, including banking, coal, oil, defence, public sector enterprises and transport, will join the general strike to oppose the government’s “anti-people and anti-worker" policies, Mint reported on Tuesday.
More than 500,000 bank employees will participate in the strike impacting banking services in thousands of branches, Venkatachalam said. Government payments, as well as ATM services, will be impacted as cash flow from banks to ATMs will not happen, he added.
Representatives of coal unions said 600,000 workers, both permanent and temporary, at coal mines are expected to join the protests. “Production will be hit. How much? You have to wait till Wednesday evening to find out," said Lakhan Mahato, general secretary, United Coal Workers Union. “The management of Coal India Ltd had called a meeting of unions and requested us not to strike but we said the strike is on," he added.
Farmers’ groups led by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, university students’ bodies, informal workers’ unions, and government scheme workers are expected to join industrial workers in the nationwide strike, which will be observed after one year. The last nationwide strike was in January 2019
“Some 15 states (mainly states that are not ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party) are expected to see 100% strike and its impact. In the rest it may be partial," said Amarjeet Kaur, general secretary, All India Trade Union Congress.
However, mega cities such as Delhi and Mumbai may not see much disruption as the protests are likely to be concentrated in industrial belts.
Workers’ unions have been making several demands, including a ₹21,000 minimum wage, higher basic pension for all, tripartite discussion on labour reforms, and a rollback on privatization of profit-making public sector undertakings.