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Jamshedpur: ATMs run out of cash on day two of trade union strike

Jamshedpur, March 29: Several ATMs ran out of cash causing hardship to common-man on the second day of the two-day strike. The ATMs, which functioned normally on the first day of the strike, ran out of cash today hampering day-to-day activities.

An official of a bank in Bistupur on condition of anonymity said, “We are aware that our ATMs have no cash. We have initiated steps to refill them with cash”. The official went on to say that though SBI is not participating in the strike, the main branch and other branches fell victim to picketing by the striking trade unions.

Banking, postal and insurance services were hit on the second day of the nationwide strike called by the joint forum of central trade unions to protest against various policies of the Union government. The two-day strike was also supported by the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA). However, there was hardly any impact on the services of private sector banks. State Bank of India also stayed away from the strike.

 The Jharkhand chapter of the Bank of India Employees Union (BoIEU) claimed that more than 2,000 branches of various public sector banks remained shut across the state.

“Today’s strike has been a total success. As per reports reaching us from other centres, the day-long strike has paralysed banking operations in all places,” said an official of the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA).

Cash transactions were affected, clearing operations were not held, forex transactions and money market transactions were affected. The main intent of the day-long strike was to draw the attention of people to the danger of banking reforms being pursued by the Government.

The bank union leaders blamed the Union government for not giving importance to the employees. They said that the public sector banks are capable enough to compete with the private banks but still the government is favouring the disinvestment. They said that the bank employees should get another option for pension schemes also.

Operations in branches of public sector banks were affected and cheque clearance was delayed.

In some places employees staged demonstrations near the bank premises and raised slogans in favour of their demands. “The strike should serve as a warning to the Central Government that has taken up certain policy decisions without assessing their negative impact on the working class. Privatisation should be immediately dropped to save the future and employees should be given a chance to opt for pension schemes,” said another union leader.

He alleged that conscious efforts are being made to weaken the public banking system to pave the way for multinational companies to carry on their businesses smoothly without being mired in labour laws.

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