Ten trade unions called for a nationwide strike or Bharat Bandh on Wednesday, as a protest against the “anti-people” policies of this government, as they term it. The unions behind the strike call are INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, LPF, and UTUC apart from other independent federations.
All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA), BEFI, INBEF, INBOC and Bank Karmachari Sena Mahasangh (BKSM) are set to participate in the strike which would have its impact on banking services such as deposit and withdrawal, cheque clearing and instrument issuance. ATM services could also be impacted by the strike. The bank employees have joined the strike against banking reforms and mega-merger of nationalized banks. They are also demanding a pay hike in addition to a uniform five-day week.
There were reports of protesters blocking the movement of trains in Howrah and 24 Parganas of West Bengal. The joint statement issued by the 10 organizations claims that 25 crore people would be participating in the nationwide strike beginning at 6.00 am on Wednesday.
The unions have demanded a rollback of what they see as “anti-working class, anti-people and the anti-national policies” of the Central government. Meanwhile, Bhumeen Adhikar Andolan has reportedly declared its intention to block highways and movement of trains through Rasta Roko and Rail Roko.