Strike paralyses banking operations for another day

Banking operations remained paralysed for the second day today as the striking officers and staff of nationalised banks and some private banks protesting the 'anti-employee' attitude of the central government and a slew of reforms planned by the centre, including the Banking Laws Amendment Bill, abstained from work for another day.

All nine bank unions participating in the nation-wide strike called by the United Forum of Bank Employees Unions, opposed the "unilateral implementation of anti-employee" recommendations of the Khandelwal Committee, and their opposition to banking sector reforms, closure of branches in rural areas, and outsourcing of jobs to private parties.

They have also demanded that vacant posts in nationalised banks be immediately filled up.

No transactions took place in banks and automated teller machines of various banks at different places in the city, witnessed heavy rush of customers.

According to All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) general secretary C H Venkatachalam, the strike was a total success across the country.
A majority of customers depend more on ATMs and bank managements have made arrangements in advance for loading the machines with cash.

AIBEA claimed that the strike saw participation from around a million employees and officers across the country.

Unions are protesting against reform measures such as the Banking Laws Amendment Bill, which was aimed at removing restrictions on voting rights of foreign shareholders and increase voting rights of private investors in the PSBs.

Unions have demanded pension revision, housing loan revision, 5-day working week and human resource related issues, among others.