The strike was part of the nation-wide agitation by bank employees protesting against the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill.

Banking operations, including cash and foreign exchange transactions, and clearing and customer services, were severely affected in the district on Thursday following a strike by bank employees affiliated to four trade unions.

The employees affiliated to All India Bank Employees Association, All India Bank Officials Association, Bank Employees Federation of India and National Union of Bank Employees, struck work in protest against the ‘hurry’ shown by Union Government to pass the much-debated amendments to Banking Bill in the current session of Parliament.

D. Manoharan, general secretary of Tirupur District Bank Employees Union, told reporters that employees from clerical cadre up to scale-3 managers, who were part of the trade unions, working in all nationalised banks except State Bank of India and in private sector banks except the new generation-private banks took part in the agitation.

“We resorted to agitation as the amendments in the Bill, which was already passed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, are totally against the interests of the country as it enables easy merger of the banks and allowing more foreign capital into the banking sector.” According to him, merger of banks in the name of functional improvement will only result in the closure of many rural branches which, in turn, could be set back to the financial inclusion campaigns undertaken across the country.

Mr. Manoharan said that the Government move to bail out the corporate defaulters with the help of Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFESI) Act by converting bad loans into equity capital of the respective companies, would lead to the collapse of the banking system.

The employees fear that the certain amendments in the banking sector would only allow corporate houses to start new banks at their will.

Coimbatore

The strike call given by trade unions affected banking activity here. Totally, 6,500 employees in 531 branches of various banks in the district went on strike. Some of the employees staged a demonstration in the city.

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