Strike affects Mumbai, port operations hit

The one-day strike call given by 11 central trade unions on Tuesday affected the commercial capital.

Last Updated: Feb 28, 2012, 17:56 PM IST

Mumbai: The one-day strike call given by 11 central trade unions on Tuesday affected the commercial capital with commercial banks reporting lower attendance and loading/unloading operations at both the ports taking a hit.
With bank unions being at the forefront of the strike call, banks witnessed thin attendance though branches of even public sector lenders were open.
The operations at Mumbai Port Trust and the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust were hit. The JNPT, which handles as much as 60 percent of the total container traffic in the country, witnessed a 75 percent drop in cargo handling at its berths as also those operated by the private operator DP World, deputy chairman N N Kumar said to sources.

He said the cargo which will have piled up as a result of the strike will be cleared after 6 pm when strike ends. The older Mumbai Port also saw trouble in loading and
unloading with operations "partially affected", deputy chairman Shree Kant Singh said.

A few branches of Bank of India and Union Bank of India were forced to down the shutters while State Bank said only some of the clerical staff did not turn up.

Insurance giant LIC said all its offices in the city functioned normally as its development officers in the Western zone had not supported the strike, executive director S Roychowdhury said.

About 1,000 wholesale traders at Navi Mumbai`s vegetable wholesale market which serves the entire metropolis, downed shutters due to the strike, president of Federation of Association of Maharashtra Mohan Gurnani said to sources.

The impact was "limited" at APMC market as only a few of the workers struck work, he said.

To the relief of the metropolis, suburban trains, buses as well as the taxis and autos ran as usual allowing for a smooth transport as they were not included in the strike call.

The trade unions had given the call for strike demanding ban on contract work, amendment to the Minimum Wages Act, assured pension for all and compulsory registration of trade union among others.

The government had last week appealed to the unions, which belong to the ruling Congress, and the Opposition BJP as well as Left parties, to desist from going on strike with labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge promising dialogue with them on all labour-related issues but union leaders rejected the call stating the government had enough opportunity earlier to sit with them and discuss the issues.

PTI