Nationwide strike: sporadic clashes in Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram: The nationwide strike called by trade unions is progressing in the state while sporadic incidents of clashes were reported in various places.
The strike will continue till midnight today. Essential services like milk, newspaper, hospital, ambulance and fire and rescue have been exempted from service. Airport travel and marriage ceremonies will not be disrupted.
Meanwhile, strike supporters blocked vehicles in Ernakulam South and North regions and also reportedly smashed the glasses of an Uber taxi which reached North railway station to pick up passengers.
Strike supporters have reportedly hindered the working of hotels which were operating during night. Employees who reached FACT for work were stopped from entering the premises.
In Thiruvananthapuram, auto drivers of BMS were stopped from plying. ISRO staff were also stopped on the way by CITU members. Staff of Apollo Tyres at Perambra in Thrissur were also stopped from entering the office. However, they joined duty after the police intervened.
Since the KSRTC staff are participating in the strike, all the services were grind to a halt. The long-distance services which were scheduled to ply after Friday midnight have also been cancelled. However, the rail traffic was not affected.
The strike was called to protest against the Union government’s “anti-labour policies”. The trade unions’ demands include social security for the unorganized workers, increase in job opportunities, curb in price rise and increase in minimum wage to Rs 18,000.
Though initially all the trade unions pledged support to the strike, BMS backed off from the strike later. The BMS decision followed after the Central Government’s assurance to increase the minimum wage.