The trade union’s strike received a lukewarm response from workers in Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad. The strike on Friday remained peaceful albeit under heavy police presence.
In Noida, essential services remained unaffected, barring health services, as 18 nurses working at the Noida district hospital were on strike. However, the impact was minimised due to the presence of 80 nurses, who work on a contract basis.
In 2013, the trade union strike had turned violent in Noida and the agitated workers had damaged a number of properties in the industrial areas, forcing the police to lathicharge after many police and private vehicles were torched.
However, this time, small groups of protesters roamed around industrial areas, demanding a hike in salary.
“With the inflation, survival has become very tough for labourers and private sector workers. We want the government to impose strict rules for minimum salary. No one should get less than `18,000 per month,” Satbir Gurjar, centre for Indian trade unions (CITU) leader, said.
He said that the trade union leaders had requested the workers to maintain peace and not indulge in violence.
“Our aim is to demand a hike in pay. We had asked the union leaders to maintain strict discipline during the protest,” Gurjar said.
Limited number of vehicles plied on the roads, allowing smooth vehicular passage. Few food joints were seen open in the industrial area.
“Most employees were allowed to work from home today. Only those whose presence was a must turned up today,” Mayank Aggarwal, an executive in a multinational company in Sector 59, said.
The police deployed additional force from the reserve police lines.
“All officers and station heads were in their respective localities with additional force to handle any untoward situation,” Dharmendra Singh, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Gautam Budh Nagar, said.
An additional company of provincial armed constabulary (PAC) was also deployed as a precautionary measure.
“Riot control force was deputed at each police station in the industrial sectors and fire tenders were put on standby. All senior officers were in the field throughout the day to ensure peaceful protest,” Singh said.
In Ghaziabad, UPSRTC bus service suffered. UPSRTC officials said that nearly 20%-30% of the bus services from Sahibabad and Ghaziabad will remain affected. They said they are working towards minimising the effect of the strike.
“The effect was largely at the Old bus stand. The strike call included drivers and conductors as well. Only one of the two unions supported the strike call. We were able to normalise services at the Kaushambi terminal in the morning, while the services at the two other terminals were resumed totally by the afternoon,” PK Bose, regional manager, UPSRTC, said.
Essential services including health, power supply and water supply remained unaffected.
Officials of Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited (PVVNL), the discom, said that supply and maintenance was unaffected in Ghaziabad.