People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 33

August 24 , 2008


Resounding Success Of The Aug 20 General Strike

The following are the reports from the states:

Andhra Pradesh: Strike was successful in the state. Industrial area around Hyderabad witnessed more than 70 per cent strike. Among municipal workers, strike was almost total. The central and state government offices were almost vacant. Strike in large industrial units like Reddy Laboratory, Arabinda Pharmacy, Organic Factory, Vizag Steel Plant, etc., was sizable. Strike was hundred percent in all the eleven Jute Mills. Rail roko and rasta roko was organised throughout the state. Railway and other workers demonstrated in different parts of the state.

Assam: The strike was almost 100 per cent in the state. In Guwahati, public vehicles including private city buses, autorickshaws were off the road. Workers picketed the bus terminals and railway stations at Guwahati, Rangiya and Bongaigaon. Picketing workers, besides several leaders, including Deben Bhatacharya, general secretary, Assam state CITU were arrested by the police.  Bank, LIC, BSNL, postal, defence, motor transport and state and central government employees participated in the strike. In oil sector, the strike is almost total. BRPL, NRL and in Digboi strike was complete.

Bihar: The strike was a huge success in Bihar. Bandh like situation prevailed in Nalanda, Purnea, Katihar, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Jhanabad. Bank, LIC, central and state government employees joined the strike en masse. Strike in oil sector, including refineries was complete. In Patna, 80 per cent autorickshaws were off the road. Chakka jam was organised in Sahababad, Begusari and other places. Anganwadi workers were on strike in many districts. In Jamui, beedi workers struck work enmasse and the women workers blocked the road for several hours. Rail Blockade was organised in Patna and other places particularly in northern Bihar disrupting train services. Khetmazdoor and peasantry also took part in demonstrations and road-blockade in a big way.

Delhi: Industrial areas of Delhi viz., Mayapuri, Mongolpuri, Udyognagar, Wazirpur, Kirtinagar, Samaypur Badli, Patparganj, Friends Colony, Jhilmil, Badarpur, G T Karnal Road, Peeragarhi, Mayapuri, Azadpur etc., have been affected in a big way by almost total strike action by the industrial workers. Road roko was organised in several places by the striking workers viz., G T Road, Sonia Vihar and Udyognagar. In Rafi Marg, in front of the union Labour ministry, a huge demonstration was held. A huge demonstration was also organised by railway vendors in front of Old Delhi railway station.

Haryana: Complete strike in Haryana Road Transport Corporation and almost total strike in Electricity Board was there. Industrial areas in Panipat, Gurgaon, Sonepat and Faridabad were severely affected as all the major factories witnessed massive strike. Non-teaching employees of both Rohtak and Kurukshetra University were on total strike while in Hissar Agricultural University, strike was fifty per cent. In Panipat, strike was total among the handloom workers, while in spinning mills, strike was around 60 per cent. 90 per cent municipal workers throughout the state were on strike. Contract workers at National Fertilisers and IOC Refinery at Panipat were on strike. Striking workers of the unorganised sector of brick kiln, forest, construction etc., organised rallies in several places in the state and held demonstrations. Around 8000 anganwadi workers in 45 projects in the state were on strike.

Himachal Pradesh: All the hydel project workers were on complete strike. The industrial areas of Solan, Parawanoo, Sirmour, Hamirpur reported massive response to strike call. Among anganwadi and mid-day meal workers in the state, strike was almost total. The hotel workers at Shimla were on total strike. The central government offices, banks, insurance, telecom offices also reported total strike. Massive demonstration was held in front of all the district headquarters in the state except one.

Jharkhand: Total strike in Coal, bank and insurance sectors was observed. Coal production and dispatch was totally paralysed. Train services were badly affected owing to rail-roko agitation throughout the state. Petroleum transportation was also stopped. Complete strike in Bauxite industry in Lohargada and Indian Explosives factory was observed. Industrial areas of Adityapur and Gamaria were completely closed and more than 175 workers were arrested from the procession. HEC and Bokaro steel plant reported partial strike. Road transport services were seriously disrupted. Markets were closed. Workers of unorganised sector viz., stone quarries, beedi, construction, private transport etc., participated in the strike in a big way. In all the places throughout the state, big processions by the striking workers created paralysing effect particularly at Dumaka, Ranchi, Dhanbad and Jamshedpur.

Karnataka: Bandh like situation emerged in eighteen districts out of 29 in the state viz., South Kanara, Kolar, Mandya, Bellary, Belgaum, Mysore, Raichur, Tunmkur and five taluks in Bangalore. State and central government employees participated in the strike en masse. One lakh eighty thousand auto-rickshaws were off the road. In Bangalore in all PSUs, the strike was almost 100 per cent and the contract workers and officers also joined. In major private sector companies in Bangalore and Mysore like Mico, ITC etc., and in almost all medium and small factories, massive strike took place. In South Kanada, leaders including CITU president B Madhava got arrested by police while leading a procession of striking workers.

Madhya Pradesh: Bandh like situation has emerged in three districts viz., Gwalior, Sheopuri and Dasra. Coal industry witnessed 80 per cent strike. In National Fertiliser Ltd in Guna, production work got paralysed owing to strike by contract workers. In Jabalpur, in the Defence ordnance factory the strike was 90 per cent. The industrial areas of Mandidip, Gobindpura around Bhopal, industrial units at Gwalior, Indore, Jabalpur, Bina, Guna, Ratlam etc., reported massive strike by the industrial workers. The unorganised sector workers of beedi, loading-unloading, rice-mills, anganwadi etc., joined the strike in a big way.

Maharashtra: The industrial centers of Navi-Mumbai/Thane, Nasik, Pune, Solapur, Ichhalkaranji, Nagpur , Aurangabad etc., reported massive response to strike call both from organised and unorganised sector workers. Banks, insurance, anganwadi, home based, gram panchyat and electricity workers joined the strike. Massive processions were taken out by the striking workers at Mumbai(20,000), Nasik (10,000), Aurangabad (5000), Nagpur(7000) and Solapur(5000). Rail roko at two centres disrupted train traffic.

Tamilnadu: In Tamilnadu workers in almost all the major industrial establishments in and around Chennai joined the strike. Among them are Ashok Leyland, Ennore Foundries, Simpson Group of Companies, EID Parry Fertiliser, MRF, WIMCO, Carborundum Universal, Bharat Electronics, ABT Goup, Jute Products of India, India Furnitures and others. In State Transport Corporation, State Electricity Board and Civil Supplies Corporation, strike was partial. Large number of workers in Kalpakkam Atomic Power complex joined the strike. Strike in Neyveli Lignite, BHEL, Salem Steel was partial. Indian Oil and Indo Burma petroleum workers and employees have fully participated in the strike. In Tutikorin Port, strike was complete but in Chennai Port strike was partial. In Tiruppur garment industry area the strike is total. Unorganised workers in auto rickshaws, construction, beedi, headload, handloom, tailoring also joined the strike in all the centres of the state. In Kanyakumari district, 50,000 cashew workers and more than 5000 rubber plantation workers were on strike. Rasta Rokos and Rail Rokos were organised at 150 centres in the state and several thousands courted arrest in that process.

Pondicherry: Strike affected normal life in this Union Territory. Complete strike in LPG Bottling plant was observed. Over 1000 workers, including women, were arrested.

Punjab: Total strike was witnessed all over the state affecting all sectors, including power and transport. In road transport corporations and in Punjab State Electricity Board strike was to the tune of 80 per cent. 20,000 anganwadi workers took part in the strike and participated in road-blockade demonstrations in several places. The industrial centers of Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Mandigobindgarh, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar etc., reported massive response to strike action by the industrial workers and the textile workers in particular. Almost all the industrial centres including Chandigarh witnessed massive demonstration by tens of thousands of striking workers. Rasta Roko was staged in Sangrur, Mansa, Batinda and Amritsar. Workers of the unorganised sector, particularly from brick-kiln responded to the strike call in a big way. Throughout the state road blockade and rail-roko was organised in 60 places leading to arrest of several thousands of people.

Rajasthan: Strike impacted the entire state. Response of strike was good among the state government employees and road transport workers. The industrial workers in all the industrial centers of Jaipur, Kota, Ganganagar, Jhunujhunu etc., joined the strike in a big way. Strike in Khetri Copper Complex and J K Tyre was good. In Jaipur, over 3000 workers took out procession. Unorganised sector workers in loading-unloading work in the mandis also joined the strike paralysing the transactions in the mandi. Kisan Sabha organised a massive road blockade in Ganganagar and Hanumangarh area paralysing the traffic for couple of hours. At Sikar, police lathicharged the workers injuring many. In Jaipur also road blockade was organised paralysing traffic completely.

Uttar Pradesh: All industrial centers of Saharanpur, Kanpur, Meerut, Bulandsahar, Bareli, Varanasi, Lucknow, Ferozabad, Farukhabad, Agra, Jhansi, Ghaziabad, Noida etc., reported massive strike action and militant demonstration. In Chandouli, Bulandsahar, Varanasi, Kanpur and other places road-blockade and rail rokos were organised. Power workers staged a boycott. Notable is the strike of 2,25,00 para teachers throughout the state. State government employees also took part in the strike in a big way. Among electricity workers, strike was 80 per cent. Unorganised sector workers including home-based workers in Ferozabad and Farukhabad, beediworkers in Rampur massively participated in the strike throughout the state. Contract workers in GAIL at Auria participated in strike.

Uttaranchal: Strike in Jal Nigam, Gadwal Vikash Nigam, and small industries was substantial. Strike in THDC was partial. In the Salakui Industrial Area and Langha Road Industrial Area around Dehradun, massive strike took place. At Salakui area, police brutally lathicharged on the demonstration of the striking workers injuring many. Besides complete strike in BSNL, banks, Insurance and Survey of India, strike was partial in BHEL. Anganwadi workers were on total strike. In Haridwar, municipal workers were on complete strike.

Chhattisgarh: The coal belt in the state reported above 75 per cent strike on the whole. The privatised Balco witnessed massive strike by contract workers and among regular workers strike was partial. In the iron ore mines at Dalli Rajhara, strike was to the tune of 90 per cent. The markets at Rajnandgaon and Dhamtari were closed owing to strike by all the workers. All the 102 ware houses in the state were closed due to strike. Beedi workers and anganwadi workers also joined the strike in a big way. In Bhilai Steel Plant, all the entry gates were jammed by thousands of workers from 5 am to 9 am. Police forcibly removed them injuring many workers.

Orissa: Almost complete bandh was observed in nine districts viz., Sundargarh, Keonjhar, Baleswar, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Khurda, Puri, Ganjam and Angul and public transport was off the road. In the industries in these districts, strike was almost total. Mahanadi Coal Field headquarter at Sambalpur was seized by the striking workers for couple of hours. In the iron-ore mines and sponge-iron belt of Orissa, strike was hundred percent. In Rourkela Steel Plant, strike was partial. Transport sector workers joined the strike in a big way affecting normal traffic throughout the state. In Sundargarh district 5000 workers were arrested while staging demonstrations.

Manipur: A bandh like situation has emerged on the strike day as the passenger-bus services, auto-rickshaws and other private transport were off the road and all shops, markets and establishments were closed. No flight has taken off from Imphal Airport. The government offices, post offices, BSNL and AG Offices were practically vacant owing to strike by the concerned employees.

Meghalaya:The employ-ees in central government offices, public sector banks and college teachers of Meghalaya under the banner of the Meghalaya College Teachers’ Association participated in the massive and historic strike. The workers, employees and teachers organised a central rally in Shillong.