Banking operations in public sector banks took a hit on Thursday as some bank unions joined the one-day nationwide strike called by central trade unions to protest against the Centre’s economic policies. However, State Bank of India and private sector banks were functional.
The All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) are participating in the strike. The protest by bank unions is mainly against the anti-labour policies of the Centre, privatisation of banks and outsourcing and contract system in jobs in the sector.
“Lok Sabha in its recently held session has passed three new labour enactments by dismantling existing 27 enactments in the name of ‘Ease of Business’, which are purely in the interest of corporates. In the process, 75 per cent of workers are being pushed out of the orbits of labour laws since they will have no legal protection under the new enactment,” PTI quoted AIBEA general secretary C H Venkatachalam as saying.
Cash transactions, including deposits and withdrawal at branches, foreign exchange and government transactions were impacted in many public sector banks where participating unions are strong.
In Madhya Pradesh, bank employees of 7,300 branches belonging to public sector banks went on a day-long strike. Nearly 18,000 employees belonging to the 10 public sector banks in Madhya Pradesh took part in the strike, Madhya Pradesh Bank Employees Association (MPBEA) Secretary M K Shukla told PTI.
“Banking operations, including deposits, withdrawals, cheque clearance and fixed deposits renewal and government treasury works got affected in a major way,” he said. However, employees of State Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank did not take part in the strike.
Meanwhile, normal life came to a complete halt in Left-ruled Kerala while it was partially affected in West Bengal, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Odisha due to the 24-hour nationwide strike. While intermittent clashes between Left activists and police were reported in several parts of Bengal, other states saw road blockades, leading to disruption of vehicular movement.
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