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General strike shuts Indian cities

Issue No. 2342

Tens of millions of workers struck across India on Wednesday and Thursday of last week as its government prepares to pass a harsh austerity budget.

Prices in India are rising quickly—especially for fuel.

But the government wants to cut welfare, make it easier for bosses to fire people and open up more of the economy to foreign investment.

India’s economy is slowing down and growth is set to hit a ten year low of 5 percent this year.

The two-day strikewas the biggest since India’s independence.

It was backed by unions linked to all the major political parties—including the Congress party who are in government and the hard right BJP.

It was particularly strong in public transport and banking.

Cash machines across the country ran out of money, including in the financial capital of Mumbai.

Factories, government offices and schools were shut down. Strikers occupied railway lines.

Some of the Indian media has tried to portray the strike as a failure, but bosses say it has cost them more than £2 billion.

Striking bus driver Narender Singh was run over and killed on Wednesday by a scab bus driver in Ambala.

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Tue 26 Feb 2013, 16:52 GMT
Issue No. 2342
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