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Bharat Bandh: Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Gives Call Against Shutdown

In what is seen as a strange coincidence, the Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has given a strong call against the policy of going for a strike which she termed would cause losses in crores, and joined the people who oppose such bandhs in the country. She has also urged people to keep all financial institutions open on September 2. However, Left front has termed her opposition to the bandh since it was called by their trade unions.

The West Bengal State Government has asked all its employee not to take leave between September 1 and 5 as the weekend follows the Friday bandh and on Monday, Ganesh Chaturthi being a holiday."Taking a proactive step, the State Government clearly stated that employees will be show-caused if they take leave anywhere between September 1 and 5 without any genuine and serious cause,” she said.

The employee who is absent would be given a show-cause notice and a salary cut for one day, as per the procedure.

Rejecting the Left Front charges, Mamata Banerjee said she has always been against bandh. “We are against the policies of the Centre. People employed in industrial units may have some problem. I am not ruling it out. But there are other processes of sorting it out instead of going for a strike,” she added.

Otherwise, on September 2, 2015, all the 15 crore employees and workers affilitated to 9 major trade unions will observe Bharat Bandh and hold rallies across the country protesting change in labour laws, economic reforms and FDI relaxation among others. The major trade union CITU has been leading the general strike.

The Bharat Bandh is likely to affect the essential services such as transport, electricity, mining, defence, telecom and insurance. All scheduled banks will be without employees and many government offices and PSUs will be joining the shutdown on Friday.

On roads, buses and autorickshaws will be off, especially in Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. While not all railway workers are joining the strike, with the exception of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), railway services will also be hit on this day or a skeletal service will be provided. Otherwise, all the Leftist and Congress-affiliated trade unions — INTUC, HMS, CITU, AITUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, UTUC and LPF — have called for the strike.

The trade unions are also demanding compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days from the date of application and immediate rectification of International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions C-87 and C-98.

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