|Hyderabad, Feb 20: Banking services were paralysed, coal production came to a halt, and transportation was hit in Andhra Pradesh by the two-day nation-wide strike called by major trade unions, which began today.
Bank services in Hyderabad and the rest of the state were totally paralysed as over 70,000 employees of public sector banks joined the strike.
Coal production came to a halt in the mines of the state-owned Singareni Collieries, with 65,000 workers in the mines spread across four districts of Telangana participating in the strike. The company officials said the strike would hit two lakh tonnes of coal production a day.
Police stepped up security at mines in Karimnagar, Khammam, Warangal and Adilabad districts to provide security to those who want to work.
The strike has also hit Vishakapatnam Steel Plant, another major public sector unit in the state. Over 10,000 permanent and contract employees of the plant joined the strike.
The shutdown also hit work at Vishakapatnam port, with employees staying away from work Wednesday.
The strike was partial in state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC). Nearly 50 percent of the buses were plying.
Majority of autorickshaws went off the roads in Hyderabad and other towns since midnight, with auto drivers' unions joining the strike to press their demands, including the hike in minimum fare and an end to harassment by traffic police.
The strike by three-wheelers has caused commuters to depend on a few buses that continue to ply in Hyderabad and surrounding areas, causing much inconvenience.
Employees of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) also joined the strike, and this is likely to have an impact on sanitation in the state capital. The workers took out a rally in support of their demands.
The two-day strike has been called jointly by the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Indian Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC) and other such central organisations.
The trade unions are demanding concrete measures for containing inflation, steps for employment generation, universal social security, and making the minimum wage Rs.10,000 per month, along with daily allowance.(IANS)