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Day’s strike by PSU bankers cripples banking operations in Jamshedpur

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Jamshedpur, Aug. 22: Banking operations across the country were hit on Tuesday as over 10 lakh bank employees in more than 1,30,000 branches pan-India struck work protesting against reforms in the banking sector.

More than 260 branches of 22 public sector banks in Jamshedpur downed shutters after union members staged dharnas in front of them on Tuesday.

An official of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) the umbrella body of nine unions which has given the strike call said, “All the employees spread in more than 260 branches across Jamshedpur struck work hitting cheque-clearing activity”.

With branches closed, automated teller machines (ATMs) got empty sooner than normal.

“The strike is a huge success. It is a dawn-to-dusk strike as cheque clearing operations start at 6 a.m. Bankers working in around 260 branches struck work protesting the policies towards the sector,” said, bank union official.

Government treasury transactions was also impacted. Foreign exchange transactions, import and export bill transactions, sanction of loans and others were also affected.

In most of the places, clearing operations, particularly outward clearing, was seriously affected.

The strike comes after the talks here between UFBU on one side and Indian Banks’ Association, Chief Labour Commissioner and Department of Financial Services (DFS) failed on Friday.

“All India State Bank Officers’ Federation and All India State Bank of India Staff Federation, being part of the UFBU, will participate in the strike. It is likely that our bank will also be impacted by the strike,” State Bank of India (SBI) said in a regulatory filing in the BSE.

“We have received an overwhelming response from all our members for the strike call in support of our demands, including our opposition to the merger of state-run banks,” state AIBOC official.

Private banks, including ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra, however, opened for business as usual.

A large number of ATMs also remained closed, creating problems for the customers.

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