The two-day nationwide strike called by major trade unions evoked mixed response in Andhra Pradesh on the first day Wednesday, affecting financial services and coal mining. However, there was not much impact on transportation.
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. Work in insurance companies was also hit. Post offices also remained closed.
Coal production came to a halt in the mines of state-owned Singareni Collieries, with 65,000 workers across four districts of Telangana participating in the strike. 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.
Most of the buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) plied normally in most places as National Mazdoor Union (NMU), the biggest union did not join the strike.
Autorickshaws were off the roads in Hyderabad and other towns in the early hours but most of them returned later, providing relief to commuters.
A section of employees of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) also joined the strike, which 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.
The trade unions took our rallies in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Tirupati and other places to highlight their demands.