Strike affects bank operations

Banking operations were partially affected on Tuesday, as a section of employees refrained from work in support of the two-day strike call given by 10 central trade unions to protest alleged anti-labour policies of the government.

The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) have supported the strike, which impacted banking operations where these two unions are strong.

However, the operations in State Bank of India (SBI) and private sector banks remained unaffected, as other seven unions in the banking sector are not part of the strike.

Since employees associated with these two banking sector unions were on strike, counter activities such as cash deposit and withdrawal, cheque clearances were impacted at many branches. Officers at many branches were seen handling some of the activities.

On December 26, 2018, nine bank unions observed a one-day strike to protest the proposed amalgamation of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda.

Prior to this, the All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) went on strike on December 21.

AIBEA General Secretary C H Venkatachalam said the unions are against the merger of public sector banks (PSBs) as employees will lose their jobs and employment generation will be halted.

The unions are also against privatisation of PSBs as the government is doing in the case of IDBI Bank, he said, adding that Wednesday also the strike in banks will continue.

Many PSBs have already told their customers about the likely impact on services if strike materialises.

"If the strike materialises, a section of the bank's employees may take part in the proposed strike on the said dates, in which case, the normal functioning of the branches/offices of the bank may get affected," Indian Bank said in a statement.

The two-day strike on Tuesday and Wednesday has been called by the central trade unions against the alleged repressive policies for workers adopted by the government.