Mumbai: Employees of banks, insurance companies, central government and local bodies as well as workers in several private industries joined a 24-hour all India strike of various trade unions here on Tuesday.

However, the state government, railways and BEST (city public bus service) employees have not joined the strike on account of ongoing examinations while essential services have been kept out, one of the organisers in Maharashtra said."The strike response is total, spontaneous and peaceful. This afternoon, thousands of striking workers shall march to Azad Maidan for a rally which will be addressed by top union leaders," All India Bank Employees Association secretary Vishwas Utagi told on Tuesday morning.

The strike, which has secured the support of around 5000 unions affiliated to all the major trade unions cutting across party lines, is to protest against price rise, corruption, violation of labour rights, free market policies and disinvestment which would result in loss of jobs, Utagi said.

The unions are also demanding a social security net for all the unorganised sector workers by creating a national social security fund, enforcement of basic labour laws and stringent punitive action against violators.

Police have deployed tight security at strategic locations in Mumbai and other cities in the state to ward off any untoward incidents.