Trade union strike evokes mixed response in Andhra


Hyderabad : The day-long nation-wide shutdown called by trade unions Tuesday evoked a mixed response in Andhra Pradesh, hitting the banking, insurance and postal sectors and partially affecting road transport services.

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Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed in parts of the state while the industrial production in state-owned units was affected with the workers participating in the strike called by trade unions to demand an end to contract labour, and a hike in minimum wages among other things.

The shutdown did not have much impact in Hyderabad, with the buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) plying as usual. Only a section of autorickshaws went off the roads.

Most of the private schools and colleges were also functioning normally in the state capital while the government-run educational institutions remained shut.

The bandh was partial in the industrial hub of Visakhapatnam, near total in Guntur and Vijayawada. It also evoked good response in districts like Srikakulam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Nizamabad, Kurnool and Anantapur.

Police arrested Communist Party of India (Marxist) state secretary B.V. Raghavulu and dozens of others at Koti in Hyderabad when they tried to march towards the state assembly.

CPI-M leader P. Madhu and his supporters were arrested at Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station, the biggest bus station in the state, when they tried to prevent buses from coming out.

In Anantapur town, protestors including women attacked a liquor shop and damaged the liquor bottles. Police arrested 12 persons involved in the incident.

Holding red flags, activists of nine left parties and trade unions staged protests outside bus depots in towns.

A section of employees in Singareni Collieries Company Limited, Viskhapatnam Steel Plant, Visakhapatnam port and other public sector undertakings are participating in the strike. Contract workers and employees from the unorganized sector have also joined them in the protest.