Saturday 7th December 2013
Tuesday 28th February 2012 10:13
Millions of Indian workers are on a 24-hour strike against inflation and to demand better working conditions.
The protest, backed by all of the country's 11 major trade unions, has caused public transport and banks to shut down in some areas.
In states like Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura, where the communist parties are dominant, local agitators have blocked roads and rails and delayed commuters, according to agency reports.
There has been little impact in Mumbai and Delhi, except for numerous bank closures. Roads in Calcutta were deserted, with public transport services out of action and most shops closed. The city's rail services have not been disrupted.
Calcutta police commissioner PK Pachnanda said: "Everything has been normal so far. Things are going on well. Tight security arrangements are in place with 400 police pickets set up in various parts of the city."
The strikers' demands include a national minimum wage, measures to reduce inflation, pensions for all workers and an end to the sale of stakes in profitable public companies.