Mixed response to trade union shutdown call in Karnataka

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Bengaluru, Jan 8 (IANS) The two-day nationwide shutdown called by trade unions evoked a mixed response in Karnataka on Tuesday, with government offices and bus services functioning normally in most parts of the state.

“Thousands of trade union members and workers have joined the strike demanding minimum wage of Rs 18,000 per month and abolishing the contract system among other demands,” All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) leader M.D. Harigovind told IANS here.

Even as thousands of industrial workers, labourers and Anganwadi workers took to the streets of Bengaluru and gathered in front of the Town Hall demanding labour-friendly laws, government offices and bus and metro services remained largely unaffected.

Schools and colleges across the state, however, remained shut and exams scheduled were put off. Many commercial establishments and shops, too, remained closed in support of the strike.

State-run Karnataka State Road Transport Corp (KSRTC) operated most of its scheduled services across the state, a spokesperson said.

Of the 3,200 services run by Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corp (BMTC) in Bengaluru, about 850 were functional.

Autos fleeced passengers across the state with fewer public buses on the roads, residents said.

Most of 2,000-odd IT firms and 750 multi-nationals that Bengaluru is home to were working.

The trade unions on strike held bike rallies in towns and cities waving red flags.

The striking labour unions had 12 demands including stopping all pro-corporate, anti-worker amendments to labour laws, halting privatisation of transport system, institution of universal public distribution system to contain inflation, implementation of complete farm loan waiver and legislation of the right to sell at minimum support price.



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