Nationwide general strike complete in Kerala, shops forcefully closed despite pleas

While the farmers’ march to Delhi found resistance at the border, and various protestors arrested around the country, the strike in Kerala progressed without a hitch
Nationwide general strike complete in Kerala, shops forcefully closed despite pleas

While the all India strike organised by various trade unions and other associations have found resistance in many parts of the nations, it seems to be complete in Kerala. The general strike called by various trade unions and farmers demanding a rollback of the controversial farm laws and labour police had disrupted the normal life in the state. The fact that the ruling CPI (M) and other left parties have pledged support for the strike may have added to its apparent success in Kerala. The top brass had earlier conveyed that while the ministers will not be participating, the party members would pledge solidarity to the nationwide general strike.

Shops, offices, and roads wore a deserted look. A lack of public transport has also affected attendance in many offices that were willing to remain open. Those who could go thanked owning a vehicle. Taxi, auto drivers, as well as public transport employees, expressed solidarity with the strike. While a group of railway workers had protested, the entirety of rail transport was not affected. The strike, however, did inconvenience IT employees more than anyone else.

Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and other business owners had expressed their concern over the strike. They had claimed that the strike seemed to be at a time when the economy is just recovering. They had pleaded with the organisers to not forcefully close shops as it is crucial for them. However, the pleadings seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

The strike was organised by 10 different trade unions — Indian National Trade Union Congress, All India Trade Union Congress, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, All India United Trade Union Centre, Trade Union Co-ordination Centre, Self Employed Women’s Association, All India Central Council of Trade Unions, Labour Progressive Federation, and United Trade Union Congress.

Other demands of the striking unions include expanding the rural employment scheme MGNREGA, guaranteeing an increased number of workdays in a year with higher wages. While protesting the “privatisation of the public sector” they have asked that the government provide cash transfer to non-income tax-paying families.

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