Banking operations were partially impacted throughout the country on Friday following a daylong strike by public sector and old private sector bank employees in protest against the proposed and ongoing reforms in the sector.

According to reports from various centres, particularly hard-hit were some of the eastern States such as West Bengal and Bihar, while the impact was partial in western States such as Gujarat and Maharashtra.

The strike, called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella forum of nine trade unions, was in protest against reforms which include dilution of government shareholding in public sector banks, increase in voting rights to shareholders and outsourcing of jobs.

The strike was called after conciliation talks between the Chief Labour Commissioner and unions failed.

Clearing operations hit

According to All-India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) convener C.H. Venkatachalam, nearly 10 lakh employees, including officers, “were on strike in about 65,000 branches across the country affecting banking operations.” He claimed that since the PSBs did not participate in inter-bank transactions, the day's agitation impacted clearing operations, and foreign exchange operations were also affected.