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Trade union strike hits commuters in Bengaluru

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BENGALURU: In the nationwide strike by trade unions to protest against changes in labour laws and privatisation of Public Sector Units, hundreds of labourers across Karnataka, went on a rally.

The rally from Town Hall to Freedom Park on September 2, affected normal life, transportation and banking operations in the city. Trade unions from Wipro, Bosch, LIC, Toyota, Mico, and All India Bank participated in the rally.

Karnataka government transport workers joined the strike objecting the proposed The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill. Buses, auto rickshaws and taxis were off the roads, and passengers were stranded on the streets. Shops and markets were kept shut.

Due to the strike, roads near Town Hall, Corporation, and J. C. Road were blocked. This added on to the duty of Bangalore Traffic Police. “Eighty percent of the police personnel from every jurisdiction have been assigned on duty to provide security for the rally, and twenty percent of them will remain in the respective stations,” said Prabhakar Barki, Assistant Commissioner of Police.

Only private cars and two-wheelers were seen on the road. People who traveled from different parts of the state had difficulty in continuing their journey in the city from bus stations.

“Commuters who own vehicles also fear to travel across the city because of protest and traffic,” said Rajshekar K. S., a shopkeeper at Lalbagh Road. He added that no adverse incident was reported from any part of the state so far, after the strike.

Trade union’s 12-point charter of demands include urgent measures to contain price rise, unemployment, strict enforcement of basic labour laws, universal social security cover for all laborers, and minimum wage of Rs 15,000 per month.

They also demanded an increase in pension for workers and stoppage of employment on contracts.

“Next month, the government is supposed to pass the bill on labour laws. Keeping this in mind, we are protesting in order to draw the government’s attention to our demands,” said Gangadhar M. N., Toyota Production employee.

– Claude

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