Trade Union called strike near total in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 8 (IANS) The 24-hour nationwide call for shutdown by various trade unions in Kerala met with near success as normal life was disrupted all across the state.

Barring the trade union affiliated to the BJP — the BMS, all other registered trade unions in the state are taking part in the protests.

Except for a few private vehicles, most of the public transport remained off the road, leaving many stranded at railways stations.

Even tourists and pilgrims bore the brunt of it.

Around 180 pilgrims from Tamil Nadu who arrived at the Punalur railway station to proceed to the Sabarimala temple town found themselves stranded.

Later a state-operated bus travelled to the temple town, a transport official at the Punalur bus depot said.

At the famed Kumarakom tourist destination in Kottayam district, the organisers of the protests – the CITU, did not allow the tourists from moving around.

Even though the body of the small traders and business establishments had announced they would not take part in the strike, it failed to evoke any response, as all the otherwise big markets across the state remained shut.

While banks and other private business establishments were closed, the police provided security for convoys bringing in IT employees at Technopark here and at the Infopark campus at Kochi.

Likewise most state government offices have also reported thin attendances across the state.

What has come as a dampener for the Kerala government which is organising an investor meet spread over two days beginning Thursday at Kochi, was a statement made by Tony Thomas, Chief Information officer of Nissan, which has an IT unit at the Technopark campus here pointed out that the investor meet opens after a 24-hour total shutdown, will be sending negative vibes.

–IANS

sg/in

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