Buses are parked at a main bus station in Bangalore, India, Jan. 8, 2019. A two-day nationwide strike called by Central Trade Unions (CTUs) began Tuesday in India to protest against the government's alleged anti-worker policies and unilateral labor reforms. (Xinhua/Stringer)
NEW DELHI, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- A two-day nationwide strike called by Central Trade Unions (CTUs) began Tuesday in India to protest against the government's alleged anti-worker policies and unilateral labor reforms.
Trade unionists said 10 CTUs with at least 200 million workers affiliated to them have joined the strike.
The striking unions include Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Center of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the workers' arm of the Communist Party of India and All India United Trade Union Center (AIUTUC), among others. However, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh-affiliated Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) doesn't support the strike.
Agitators in India's eastern state of West Bengal blocked railway tracks and roads at different places despite local government's elaborate security arrangements to thwart the strike.
"Train services came to a halt in Madhyamgram, Hasnabad-Bongaon, Krishnagar, Duttapukur and Lakshmikantapur stations. At Sodepur in North 24 Parganas, protesters threw banana leaves on the overhead wires to disrupt train movement. Trains were also blocked in Samudragarh station of East Burdwan district," an official said.
"Attempts to block roads were made in Srirampore-Hoogly, Barasat and Belgharia in North 24 Parganas district, Asansol and railway town of Kharagpur in West Midnapore district."
Protesters clashed with police at several places and policemen resorted to baton charging to chase the agitating workers.
In national capital New Delhi, workers staged protests carrying placards and banners in Patparganj industrial area.
In a joint statement, the CTUs said the government undermined tripartism and continued its "aggressive attack with arrogance on the lives and livelihood of the working people."
CTUs are also opposing the proposed amendments in the Trade Union Act, 1926, describing them irrational and extremely damaging to the independent functioning of unions.
Previously the trade unions organized two general strikes against the government policies on Sept. 2, 2015, and Sept. 2, 2016.