Strike it out

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The Government seems to be in a lot of problems, with the Chopper Scam to join the growing list of corruption charges, rising prices of commodities giving rise to unrest amongst the citizens, the constant pressure from allies and the opposition reaching for their throats. Now the two day nationwide strike might just add to it.

Despite the union Government’s attempts to dissuade it, 11 central trade unions have agreed to launch a nationwide strike starting today along with over 2000 independent unions. The strike is meant to press the unions 10 point charter of demands such as control of inflation, adequate social security for unorganised sector workers and minimum wages to be fixed at Rs. 10,000 a month. The loss to the economy during this strike could be around Rs. 20,000 crore and impacts banks (including RBI), port and dock works, public transports, insurance firms, power sectors, coal and oil industries, post and Telecom sectors, State and Central Government offices, industrial sectors and Government undertakings.

In Pune, over two lakh workers may join the strike and few may work wearing black badges. This is the biggest strike in India post independence for never before have 11 trade unions and other independent organizations jointly held a strike. Educational institutions in the city are functioning as usual and buses and rickshaws have decided not to participate in the strike, for they do not want to trouble students during exam season. The auto-rickshaw unions will remain off on Thursday between 1pm to 5pm though.

Though the strike would affect the common man in some ways, it affects the Government deeply. A parliament session is close and the opposition along with the key allies will give the present Government a tough time. But the results of the bandh await to be seen. Though the general unrest amongst the people is clearly highlighted and needs to be dealt with seriously, the demands being met seem to be a huge question mark. The Punekar hopes the strikes do not turn violent anywhere (especially no public and private property is damaged. It makes no sense damaging it and fighting for the falling economy) and that the strike brings some of the changes that it hopes. Price hikes, falling economy and multi crore scams happening with the changing of seasons is something that deserves to not only be brought to notice but dealt with an iron hand.

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