25 crore people across India are likely to participate in the nationwide bandh on January 8 that will see the participation of ten central trade unions, six bank unions, about 60 organisations of students and elected office-bearers of some universities, more than 175 farmers and agricultural workers unions. Here are the services that may be affected and those that are expected to run smoothly:
Milk, fruits and vegetable supply to continue
Perishable goods like fruits, vegetables and milk will be supplied without any hassle. Tamil Nadu Milk Distributors Welfare Association president SA Ponnusamy told TNM that their union will not participate in the bandh and therefore there will be a smooth flow of milk in the city. Sundararajan, of the Potato Wholesale Merchants Association’s President in Koyambedu, says, “We don't want to affect consumers. We will not be taking part in the bandh.”
Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) is one of the main participants in the Bharat Bandh and therefore public transport services are bound to be affected in the state’s capital city. Boopathy of Centre Of Indian Trade Union told TNM that Ola and Uber services will be affected in the city. A Soundarrajan of Tamil Nadu State Transport Employees Federation and also a part of the CITU says all public transport buses will not run on the 8th. “The government may run a few buses with their employees but most of the services will not be available,” he added.
TN Govt warns action
Tamil Nadu government, however, has issued a notice warning of disciplinary action against those employees who participate in the Bharat Bandh. According to TOI, chief secretary K Shanmugam had issued a circular to all department heads on Thursday saying, “If any of the government employees have not attended office, consequent of his/her participation in the proposed all India strike on January 8, the period of absence has to be considered as unauthorised and they are not entitled to the pay and allowances on the basis of the principle of No Work-No Pay.”
DMK chief MK Stalin, on the other hand, has expressed his support for the bandh. In a letter, he has said that Minister of Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar should conduct talks with the labour unions and pay heed to their requests and amicably resolve the issue.
One of the main demand of the striking unions is that the government should drop the proposed labour reforms. Some of the other demands put forward the unions are a raise in the minimum wage to Rs 21,000-Rs 24,000 per month; stopping the privatisation of public sector undertakings; and repealing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).
The trade unions have also condemned the JNU violence and similar incidents in other university campuses and expressed their solidarity with students and teachers all over India.