Mamata opposes 48-hour countrywide strike

Kolkata  :  West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Saturday that she would crack down heavily on striking trade unions, who have called for a countrywide shutdown Feb 20.

We won’t allow any strike. I am telling everybody – farmers, artists, businessmen, those who have to earn their daily living – that there will be no strike,” Banerjee said at an official programme in Polba in Hooghly district.

Trade unions across the country have called for a 48-hour general strike Feb 20 in support of a 10-point charter of demands. These include a monthly minimum wage of Rs.10,000 for workers, jobs for the unemployed, stopping disinvestment of profit-making public sector units, enforcement of labour laws and maternity benefits for working women.

“Not a single shop will be shut. Nobody will be allowed to enforce the strike. If anybody uses force, the administration will take steps,” Banerjee said.

Ridiculing the strike call, the chief minister wondered whether there was a quota for strikes and shutdowns as “two such disruptions are organised every year”.

Banerjee said the opposition was free to organise movements, but “I will not let them to bring life to a standstill”.

File Photo  : AFP