Trade union leaders hopeful of successful strike in Bengal

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Kolkata, Nov 25 (PTI) Central trade unions, which will go on a nationwide strike on Thursday to protest against various policies of the Centre, expressed hope that it will be successful in several sectors in West Bengal, while the state government directed the employees to join duty according to the roster.

Sources in the agitating trade unions said that they are hopeful of a successful strike in key sectors like jute, port, tea, coal and banking, as the INTTUC, the trade union wing of the ruling Trinamool Congress, did not oppose the call for the movement.

Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress (INTTUC) West Bengal president Dola Sen said that the organisation is against the anti-people and worker policies of the central government.

However, she also said that the party does not support any sort of strike.

RSS affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), which has a negligible support base in the state, has said that it will not participate in the strike.

In a memorandum, the state government said it is against bandhs and all its offices will remain open on Thursday.

Directing the employees to attend office as per roaster, the memorandum said that no casual leave or any other leave will be granted to anyone unless there is a bereavement in the family or the employee is hospitalised.

Those who are on child care leave, medical leave, maternity leave and earned leave taken prior to November 26 also need not come to office, it said.

'A strike notice was served and operation in jute mills will be closed,' a jute mills trade union leader said.

The strike will be observed at the Kolkata port and there will be no loading and unloading work, a CITU leader of the port said.

The port authorities said arrangements have been made so that operations remain normal.

Banking unions have announced that they will join the strike.

Anadi Sahu, senior CITU leader of West Bengal, said that it had been fixed long ago that the general strike would be observed on November 26, but the authorities did not change the date for National Eligibility Test (NET), which will be taken on Thursday.

The NET is conducted by UGC for determining the eligibility for the post of Assistant Professor and/or Junior Research Fellowship award in universities.

Sahu urged all organizations supporting the strike to take steps so that examinees can reach their exam venue without inconvenience.

The strike was called to protest against the new farm and labour laws, among others, as well as to raise various demands. PTI BSM NN NN