Strike in Kerala, total shutdown

Thiruvananthapuram : The 24-hour-long strike called by trade unions to oppose the NDA government’s “anti-labour” policies and demand better wages, turned out to be a total shut down in Kerala.

While public transport service across the state was not operating, private vehicles were seen on the roads.

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Barring the BJP’s trade union wing Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), all other leading unions have joined the strike in Kerala.

The trade union workers led by former CPI-M legislator V. Sivankutty blocked the main central garage of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday morning.

Not a single vehicle operated to pick up the majority of the 6,000 work force attached to three units here.

In the past, the ISRO has never allowed such strikes to affect their work as their vehicles move in convoys with gun totting Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) security guards.

“The ISRO has always threatened people who organise strikes using the gun totting CISF security guards and hence we decided to block the main garage where 260 buses and 400 cars are parked. We will go away the moment the ISRO officials say they declare a holiday,” said Sivankutty.

In Kochi, the police had to intervene after protesters attacked Call Taxi service vehicles which arrived to pick and drop passengers at the railway stations.

The IT hub — Infopark Campus — at Kochi also reported a thin attendance, with many IT professionals finding it tough to arrive in the campus.

In Thrissur, the police intervened when BMS workers who reported for work at the Apollo Tyres factory in Perambara, were stopped by other union workers.

In north Kerala, the strike appears to have had an impact as the only place of activity was the Kozhikode railway station.

While the three international airports operations were going on, markets and malls across the state were closed.