Left parties and trade unions claimed that workers from almost all sectors participated in the industrial strike on Thursday, adding that the success of the strike went beyond expectation. They claimed that the strike even had an impact in cities like Srinagar and Shillong.
MK Pandhe, CPIM politburo member and CITU president, said that the
government should sit up and take notice of the strike and reverse the anti-worker’ policies it is trying to implement.
''If the Government still does not take notice, we will get ready for much bigger action across the country. It would become a much larger movement,'' Pandhe said.
Pandhe said that workers from all sectors including post and telegraph, ports and docks, banks, government schools, defence PSUs and airports struck work on Thursday.
''The demands of the working class cannot be ignored,’’ he said, adding that railway unions did not join the strike but outside workers held up trains in some parts of the country like Jharkhand.
Umramul Purohit, general secretary of Hind Mazdoor Sabha, said the trade unions had met one request to the Government. ''If the Government was planning to disinvest or sell PSUs, we requested them that industry should be replaced with industry. Even that the government is not willing to listen to," Purohit said.
CPI’s Gurudas Das Gupta said Thursday’s general strike was the second one in the tenure of the UPA government. The last one was held on September 29 in 2005.
"The UPA is violating the mandate of the people. It was a mandate for different policies. The economic policies of the UPA have become anti-poor and pro-rich. We will organise more strikes if the Government does not change policies," Das Gupta said.
Earlier on Thursday, Left party MPs held a demonstration in front of Parliament in support of the strike. The MPs were carrying placards with slogans - "Stop Privatisation", "Hold Runaway Inflation", "Stop Disinvestment" and "Strengthen PDS". They demanded that the government should take steps against black marketeers, stockists and hoarders to correct inflation.