Almost 1,000 crore worth of various banking transactions got affected in Tirupur district as bank employees from sub-staff rank to Scale-3 managers, went on a strike on Monday seeking wage increase.
The strike by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), which started soon after a holiday on Sunday, had come in for criticism from different quarters as many ATMs started going dry by the evening and garment exporters were left with little option to carry out foreign exchange transactions since staff of only a handful of banks were not taking part in the strike.
The foreign exchange transactions are usually available only for five days a week and when two of those precious five days wasted, the exporting prowess of Tirupur cluster will be hit badly, said some of the knitwear exporters.
P. Somasundaram, secretary of Tirupur Consumers Voice, said that the strike by the bank staff seeking more wages could not be justified as they were already well-paid.
“How can the demand of employees for more salary can be justified when the profits of bank are shrinking and non-performing assets increasing due to lack of inefficiency?” he quipped.
Some of the knitwear entrepreneurs, who were upset over the strike, called for staff audit in banks to hold the employees more accountable to the banking services.
Special Correspondent adds from Coimbatore
About 530 bank branches remained closed on Monday in Coimbatore district.
About 800 employees staged a demonstration in front of the State Bank of India here.
There was no banking operation at all the branches of public sector banks and the branches of old generation private sector banks in the district.
According to J. Vanangamudi, vice-president of Canara Bank Officers’ Association, Internet and mobile banking services will not be available to the customers if the respective branch is not operating.
About Rs. 300 crore is the business affected a day in the district because of the strike. The employees will stage a demonstration on Tuesday too, he said.