Public sector banks' strike completes third day

Cheques worth Rs. 1,75,000 crore are reported to be held up for clearance

GN Bureau | December 4, 2014



Demanding early revision of the wages for the bank staff  “which is due from November 2012”, public sector bank employees continued their strike on the third day on Thursday. This is their second strike in less than a month. The last strike was on November 12.

According to the All India Bank Employee Association (AIBEA), nearly 1.5 lakh employees and officers of various PSBs in the six states of the south -- Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Puducherry -- and Lakshwdeep were on strike on Thursday.

“Due to high inflation, price rise and heavy increase in workload, a reasonable wage revision is justified but unfortunately, the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) is willing to offer only 11 percent  increase over the existing wage bill which is inadequate,” says AIBEA. “Unions are willing to negotiate their demands and accept a reasonable wage hike but IBA’s tough stand is provoking more and more strike in banks.”

The association claimed that there was complete shut-down of banking services in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mysore, Vijayawada, Vizag, Coimbatore, Puducherry, Salem, and Madurai .

The Chennai clearing house centre which deals with the southern grid was affected by the strike. About 2.50 crore cheques worth about Rs. 1,75,000 crore are reported to be held up for clearance because of the strike. In many places even ATMs were dried out.

The strike started on Tuesday with employees of public sector banks in the north going off work. The region included Punjab, Haryana, UT Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Rajasthan.

Keeping the strike in mind, the government on Tuesday had asked PSU banks to stock ATMs with enough cash as to ensure that public does not face inconvenience.

Meanwhile, private sector banks, of course, continued with their banking operations.

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