Millions of workers from India's banking, transport, manufacturing and other sectors are expected to join a strike Wednesday and Thursday called by several trade unions demanding measures to control price rises, deal with graft and create jobs.
The nationwide strike underlines the discontent among workers who feel they have mostly been left out of India's economic prosperity over the past decade.
Industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry warned that the strike could shave off up to 200 billion rupees ($3.7 billion) from India's gross domestic product. The economy, already battling a slowdown, can't afford such a situation as it would worsen price pressures by disrupting the supply of essential commodities, it said.
"[Sky-high] inflation, disinvestment of profit-making public-sector undertakings, nonimplementation of labor laws…inadequate minimum wage, absence of social security for millions…have compelled the workers to go on strike," said a news release from the left-leaning All India Trade Union Congress which claims 3.6 million members.