Strike hits transport, banking in Punjab, Haryana

Chandigarh: Transport and banking services were hit in Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana today in the wake of the day-long strike called by major trade unions against the "anti-labour" policies of the Centre.

Buses on several routes remained off the road in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

"We have 20-30 per cent impact on public transport services in Haryana because of the strike....the services are hampered in Fatehabad, Hisar, Jind, Yamuna Nagar, Sonepat and Kaithal," a senior official of Haryana Transport Department told PTI here.

He said employees have refused to join duty despite being asked to.

Striking employees of public transport service in Punjab and Chandigarh have decided to keep the buses off the road between 12 and 2 PM.

"We are trying to rope in workers on contract basis to run buses in order to minimise inconvenience to public and even persuading others to join duty," a senior official of Punjab Transport department said.

Asked if ESMA would be invoked, senior officials of Punjab and Haryana said no decision has been taken so far to enforce the Act.

With major bank unions observing the strike, financial transactions came to a halt in all the branches of public sector banks. However, banking services in private sector banks were not affected.

Bank unions have given a strike call, demanding tough measures to recover bad loans and stop outsourcing of non-core activities to private sector.

"There will be no transaction in banks today," said Punjab Bank Employees Federation, Secretary Naresh Gaur.

Agitating bank employees also took out a rally in Ludhiana to press for acceptance of their demands. was the industrial sector of Punjab and Haryana which bore the brunt of the strike with Industry representatives in Punjab and Haryana said business was hit due to the strike in banks.