02/09/2015 11:02 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Unions Claim 150 Million On Strike Across India

Indian workers participate in a rally on the first day of a two day strike in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. Sporadic violence has broken out in India at the beginning of a two-day strike by labor unions protesting rising prices and government policies to open the economy. Millions of bank and factory workers stayed away from work and public transport was shut down Wednesday after India's major trade unions called the countrywide strike. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

Trade union leaders claimed that around 15 crore formal-sector workers are on strike in support of their 12-point charter of demands. Multiple reports from across the country suggest that banking, transport, shops and markets in different across several states were impeded. The strike has been called to protest changes in labour laws and privatisation of PSUs.

However BJP-backed unions such as the BMS and NFITU conspicuously stayed away from the strike.

In Kolkata, the State administration was plying a large fleet of public buses while partial impact was seen on operations of private buses and taxis.

In Delhi, commuters appeared hassled after a large number of autos and taxis remained off the roads.

In Kerala, public and private bus services, taxis and autorickshaws were off the roads. Only few private cars and two wheelers were seen on the roads. Shops, hotels and even small tea stalls were closed in the state.

The government had yesterday appealed trade unions call off the agitation in the interest of workers and nation.

The other demands made by the unions include a call for urgent measures to contain price rise, contain unemployment, strict;y enforce of basic labour laws, provide universal social security cover for all workers and minimum wage of Rs 15,000 per month, enhance pension for workers, stop disinvestment in PSUs, doing away with outsourcing contract labour, removal of ceiling on bonus and provident fund, compulsory registration of trade unions within 45 days, no amendment to labour laws unilaterally and a halt on Foreign Direct Investment in the Railways and defence.

(With inputs from agencies)

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