Nationwide strike called by United Forum of Bank Unions

Work in banks in Tiruchi and in neighbouring Perambalur, Ariyalur, and Pudukottai districts came to a standstill on Wednesday as employees and officers of public sector banks struck work demanding immediate wage revision and to stop the ongoing reforms in banks.

The nationwide one-day strike was called by the United Forum of Bank Unions consisting of nine unions, including the All India Bank Employees Association, All India Bank Officers Confederation, National Confederation of Bank Employees, All India Bank Officers Association and Bank Employees Federation of India.

Employees and officers of eight private banks, including Karur Vysya Bank, Lakshmi Vilas Bank, Federal Bank, Karnataka Bank, Dhanalakshmi Bank, and South Indian Bank joined the strike.

There were no business and cash transactions in the public sector bank branches and in old private banks in the district as they were all shut down with employees and officers participating in the strike, said union sources here.

Tiruchi district alone accounts for 300 branches of different public sector banks with the strength of employees and officers exceeding 3,000.

Employees and officers of various banks assembled at the State Bank of India’s zonal office in the city and staged a demonstration in support of their demands. The nearly two-hour demonstration was attended by office-bearers of various bank unions.

While demanding immediate wage revision, the striking bank staff and officers wanted the government to stop the ongoing reforms in the banking sector as reforms would pave the way for entry of foreign banks in the country and allow foreign direct investment in public sector banks and in private banks.