Mail News Service
Jamshedpur, Jan. 8: The two-day strike called by trade unions paralysed banking, postal and insurance services and left the small scale industry sector limping to meet production targets. Several trade unions hit streets in favour of the bandh and appealed to support for the cause. According to an estimate the city incurred a loss of Rs 100 crore.
Services in the banking , insurance and postal sector were paralysed on the first day of the two day nationwide strike called by different central trade unions to protest Union government�s anti-worker policies, privatization of public sector entities.
More than 200 branches of different nationalized banks remained closed for the day affecting check clearance and money transfer. Even the, 27 branches of the State Bank of India and private banks which were opened in the morning had to down shutters later in the afternoon due to picketing by members of the trade unions outside their banks.
However, ATMs of all the banks remained operational.
Insurance sector was worst hit with all the 19 branches of Life Insurance Corporation under Jamshedpur division along with Jamshedpur divisional office at Bistupur remained closed.
All the 52 post offices in city remained bandh today. Only official work at the postal superintendent office at Golmuri functioned normally.
Convenor of United Forum of Bank Unions, Subhasish Bhattacharya said that all the 250-odd branches of both public and private banks in Jamshedpur remained closed in response to the bandh call.
“The bandh has evoked overwhelming response on the day one. Our demands include payment of minimum wages, abolition of contract labour, arresting rising prices of essential commodities, and withdrawal of ceiling on bonus and gratuity,� said Bhattacharya.
In some places employees staged demonstration near the bank premises and raised slogans in favour of their demands. The Jamshedpur division of Life Insurance Corporation of India Limited witnessed complete shutdown of 20 branches under its jurisdiction.
Ramesh Sahu a senior functionary of Jamshedpur Division Insurance Employees Association said that the division suffered losses to the tune of over Rs 2 crore on the day of the strike.
All the 46 post offices in the district including the General Post Office ( GPO) in Bistupur remained closed as the employees stayed away from work.
�Government is on disinvestment spree rather than increasing the number of employees steps are being taken to reduce the strength of the banks and other government institutions. Outsourcing has also reduced the options for the workers. It is high time that the steps are taken by the government to secure our future,� said a bank employee .
Meanwhile Asia�s biggest industrial hub that houses about 900-odd small and medium scale units also faced the brunt of the strike. Most of the units remained shut as the employees failed to turn up in response to the trade union bandh call.