Banking operations have been affected across the country today with the employees of public sector and old private sector banks going on a day-long strike in protest against banking sector reforms.

“About 10 lakh bank employees and officers working in public sector banks, old private banks, cooperative banks and regional rural banks are on strike,” United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) convener, Mr C.H. Vekatachalam, said.

UFBU is an umbrella organisation of five workman unions and four officer unions of public sector and private sector banks in the country.

Operations in the branches of public sector banks are affected and cheque clearance would be delayed.

Mr Vekatachalam said employees are on strike to protest outsourcing of bank jobs and attempts to impose “anti-employee” recommendations of Khandelwal Committee. In addition, there are pending issues related with pension and regulated working hours for officers.

In the name of banking sector reforms, he said the Government is trying to reduce their share of equity capital in the public sector banks, thereby, increasing the hold of private capital in these banks.

The Government is also pursuing its policy of consolidation and merger of public sector banks, which are totally unwarranted and would in no way benefit in strengthening the banks.

The bank unions had yesterday met the Financial Services Secretary, Mr D.K. Mittal, as well as the Indian Banks’ Association Chairman, but no solution could be found.

(This article was published on August 5, 2011)
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