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Nationwide Bank strike hits operation in Tripura : Affects common man
Nationwide Bank strike hits operation in Tripura : Affects common man
PHOTO : Union Forum of Bank Union organised bank strike in Tripura. TIWN Pic Nov 12

AGARTALA, November 12 (TIWN): Normal banking operations like cash withdrawal, clearance, opening of bank accounts was hit on Wednesday due to 1 day bank strike called by the United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU) to press for wage revision, other demands. Near about 10 lakhs official and clerks had joined the strike from all over India. Banking operations in India were hit Wednesday as more than 800,000 employees went on a day's strike to seek a salary hike and other benefits, union officials said.The strike was total in some 75,000 branches of 27 state-run banks, as also the 25,000 branches of 18 private and eight foreign banks across India, said Vishwas Utagi, senior vice president of the All India Bank Employees Association. In the state capital Agartala, there was no attendance in the banks and a group of employees were resisting customers to use the ATM (Automated Teller Machine) facility .However, a rally had been organized by the UFBU, State unit on wednesday in support of the strike.All over India, some branches of private banks were seen open. However, this irresponsible bank strike by employees caused enormous hardship to common people, businesses and affected life throughout India. Most highly paid Bank employees shouldn't have taken the politicians path of causing public life disruptions to address their demands.

Utagi, also the Maharashtra convenor of United Forum of Banking Unions, the umbrella organisation of the unions, estimated that over 10 million cheques will not be cleared Wednesday, and could be delayed for up to five days in view of the day-long strike.

Citing official figures, he said that the total volume of the Indian banking industry is more than 155 lakh crore ($2.5 trillion), which has been completely blocked by the day-long strike.

"My bank (the State Bank of India, the country's largest), had told me that there would be a strike today. I could withdraw money from an ATM. But I'm not quite sure if I can transfer money using net banking," said Anand Iyer, a software consultant in Mumbai. 

The ATM machines that have emerged as the major source of withdrawing monies at least in cities and towns, were working. But in some areas, bank customers were complaining that the money in some ATMs had exhausted.

"The money in ATMs will not be replenished till Thursday morning," Utagi said.

This is the first strike by bank employees since the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government took over in May this year. The banking industry had seen a crippling strike over two says in the second week of February.

According to C.H. Venkatachalam, the general secretary of the All India Bank Employees Association, the unions are demanding a wage hike of 23 percent, but the Indian Banks' Association (IBA), the association of managements, has offered only 11 percent.

The revision has been due since November 2012.

The forum members said the worst hit state was Maharashtra, since it alone accounts for one-third of business volumes of banks. The state has some 200,000 bank employees with the bulk of activities concentrated in commercial capital, Mumbai.

The forum is an umbrella organisation of nine unions of bank employees and officers. 


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