Trade union strike paralyzes normal life in Kerala
A 24-hour nationwide strike called by various unions in protest against the Union government’s labor policies paralyzed normal life in Kerala on Thursday. Apart from the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), supported by the BJP, all unions support the strike.
Since the Kerala government also supported the strike, it turned into a forced shutdown in many parts of the state. All government offices remain closed, government vehicles are off the road, and business establishments remain closed.
Many industrial and commercial bodies such as the Kerala Indian Industry Confederation Chapter and tourism organizations had called on unions to avoid forced closure, but did not turn a deaf ear. Many store owners and others openly expressed their resentment saying that the work stoppage and closure were unjustified due to the dire economic situation brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The seven-point demand from 10 unions and their affiliated organizations includes direct support for workers’ income, free ration, guaranteed days of employment, elimination of the latest farm and labor laws. Except for missed stone-throwing incidents, the strike remained peaceful in the state until 10 a.m.