Thursday, December 7, 2023

Strike cripples banking sector in city

Jamshedpur: Operations of state-owned banks across the city were badly affected following a 48-hour long nationwide strike called by major bank unions on Monday to press for wage revision. Work in all most all the public sector�s banks remained shut in favour of the demands. In some places employees staged demonstration near the bank premises and raised slogans in favour of their demands. The strike caused a loss of Rs 250 crore per day in Jamshedpur circle alone.

All banks in the Kolhan region comprising of the industrial and mineral-rich districts of East and West Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan downed their shutters. Employees staged dharnas in front of their banks to mount pressure in support of their demands.

� We are overwhelmed with the response. The strike is 100 per cent successful as no transaction is taking place in any bank, Someshwar Rao, a functionary of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), Jharkhand.

Cheque clearances, cash withdrawals, and deposits in public sector bank branches across the region were hit as employees started a two-day strike.

Rao said that employees were compelled to take this route as the Indian Banks� Association (IBA) did not come up with an improved wage offer. Banks, including the State Bank of India, the country�s largest, had informed customers in advance about the likely inconvenience they would face during the strike.

The unions had rejected the IBA�s offer of a 10 per cent wage hike during a conciliation meeting held on February 6 with the Chief Labour Commissioner. The offer made by bank managements was not in line with rising inflation.

The staff of public sector banks had gone on a nationwide strike for a day on December 18 after discussions with the IBA on wages on December 14 failed. The wage revision of public sector bank employees has been due since November 2012. UFBU is an umbrella organisation of nine bank employee and officer unions.

There are 27 public sector banks in the country with combined employee strength of about 8 lakh. There are about 50,000 branches of these banks across the country.

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