Strike brings banking operations to a halt

Bank Strike
United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), comprising 9 unions called the strike across the country.

Chennai, Feb 28:  10 Lakh bankers staged a strike against the government’s “anti-people banking reforms” Caused Banking operations across the country came to a halt on Tuesday.

United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), comprising 9 unions called the strike across the country.

AIBEA, AIBOC, NCBE, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF, INBOC, NOBW and NOBO are the unions who observing the strike.

Their demand also includes compensation to employees for additional works done on account of demonetisation.

CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary of All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) told news agencies that,

“around 85,000 commercial bank branches and about 105,000 co-operative bank branches and others are on strike”.

Mr Venkatachalam said that clearance of about 40 lakh cheques that cost about Rs 22,000 Cr would be affected.

The nationwide strike covers employees and officers in all public sector banks, including State Bank of India and all old-generation private banks, foreign banks, regional rural banks and cooperative banks.

CH Venkatachalam said that the shutdown of banks comes after all attempts to find a solution to the demands raised by the Bank unions yielded no results.

The propitiation meeting before the Chief Labour Commissioner on February 21st, failed to break the deadlock as the bank management body –IBA (Indian Banks Association) — did not agree to the union’s demands.

Most state-run banks have informed customers that functioning of branches and offices would be hit if the strike was observed on Tuesday.

Top private lenders — ICICI, HDFC and Axis Banks — are not part of the union and would continue to function normally but cheque clearances should be affected.

Meanwhile, cash transactions would also be hit and the ATMs are most likely to be emptied early during the day.

“ATM operations are yet to normalise after the demonetisation of high-value notes. It seems people have resigned to the situation of less cash,” Venkatachalam added.

–With IANS Inputs