Jute mill workers belonging to 20 unions in West Bengal went on an indefinite strike from Friday to press for their demands like clearance of past dues of gratuity, ESI, bonus and dearness allowance.
Only New Central Jute Mill, which is run by the workers themselves, remained open.
There are 55 mills employing 2.5 lakh workers in the state.
Despite intervention by Labour Minister Mrinal Banerjee, the deadlock between the trade unions and mill managements could not be resolved in a last attempt at a tripartite meeting held on Thursday.
Gates of jute mills remained shut with workers raising slogans was the common scene this morning.
"Since morning shift we have started continuous strike as the management declined to accept our minimum demands. The strike is peaceful so
far," CITU affiliated Bengal Chatkol Mazdoor Union General Secretary Gobinda Guha said.
Four to five trade unions did not join the strike.
The last strike in the jute industry took place in 2004 and continued for nine days. In a landmark agreement later, the unions had agreed to productivity linked wages.