Services including banking and public transport were hit in Haryana, Punjab and UT Chandigarh with employees of various government departments joining one-day nationwide strike to protest against "anti-labour" policies of the government.
Employees of departments like roadways, electricity, health, corporations held demonstrations at various places in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. At some places, employees claimed the district administration "forcefully" asked roadways employees to ply buses.
The government departments had already warned protesting employees to enforce 'no work no pay' policy and had set up control rooms to lodge complaint.
At prestigious health institution Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), various planned surgeries were on Friday postponed in the wake of around 2,000 nurses joining the nationwide strike call given by All India Government Nurses Federation.
Public transport services were hit in Punjab and Haryana with roadways employees participating in the strike call, causing inconvenience to passengers.
"There is a complete strike in Haryana as roadways buses are not plying, barring few ones at some places," Haryana Roadways Workers Union, General Secretary, Dharamveer Hooda said.
"Employees are protesting at all the 24 depots in the state," he said adding that the state roadways had fleet of 4,200 buses.
However, he accused Jind district administration of resorting to lathicharge at protesting roadways employees so as to resume bus services. "But we have not allowed to run the buses," he said.
Hooda also claimed the state police have taken 21 leaders including union's President Sarbat Singh Punia into the custody at odd hours in Fatehabad. "This is completely illegal and we will protest against the same at Fatehabad," said Hooda.
Haryana's Sarv Karamchari Sangh, President, Dharambir Phogat claimed government employees of almost all the departments including power, health, roadways, and corporations, boards, universities are participating in the strike.
"We have been demanding new appointments at regular basis, regularisation of contractual employees, minimum wages of Rs 24,000 per month, implementation of labour laws etc," said Phogat.
A report from Hisar and Kaithal in Haryana said public transport remained paralysed, forcing passengers to use private vehicles to reach their destinations.
A large number of passengers could be seen stranded at Hisar, Hansi, Uklana , Barwala, Adampur and other bus stands. Almost all offices at mini secretariat here looked deserted as government employees did not join their duties.
A report from Phagwara in Punjab said while Punjab roadways buses were also off the road, PRTC buses were seen plying.
A staff member of Punjab Roadways said they will remain on strike from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Roadways buses were seen parked inside the main Bus stand opposite National highway-I.