A two-day (March 28 and 29) nationwide strike called by a joint forum of central trade unions against the BJP-led central government’s economic policies on Monday affected life in parts of West Bengal, news agency PTI reported. Transport services were affected in a few districts as protesters blocked roads and halted train movement at some railway stations on the Howrah and Sealdah sections.
Visuals shared by news agency ANI showed Left-backed demonstrators are blocking tracks at the Jadavpur railway station in Kolkata. Railway officials, however, said there were no reports of any major disruption so far.
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Operations at offices, educational institutions and commercial establishments, however, were unaffected in most parts of the state as the West Bengal government on Saturday issued an order announcing that all state government offices will remain open and the employees will report to duty on those days. The order from the state government added that the leaves will be treated as ‘dies-non’ and no salary will be admissible.
“In view of calls given by different trade unions and others for a 48 hours’ nationwide strike/bandh on March 28 and 29, 2022, it has been decided that all state government offices including those provided with Grants-in-Aid by the state government shall remain open and all the employees shall report for duty on those days,” reads the state government memorandum.
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Banking services were hit partially as a section of bank employees’ unions has supported the strike, while a few branches downed shutters with a section of employees not reporting for duty. Many ATMs were also reported to be closed.
However, there was hardly any impact on the functioning of new-generation private sector banks.
Several trades unions in India, which have called the two-day bandh to protest against government policies, have demanded scrapping the proposed changes in labour laws, hike in wages under MGNREGA, regularisation of contract workers among others.