Empty ATMs greet residents in some localities; people in suburbs face difficulty in travelling

The second day of the strike in the city on Thursday, though not largely affecting daily life of residents, held up banking and postal operations.

While Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses and many autorickshaws plied the roads, residents of some of the southern suburbs such as Navalur faced difficulty in travelling to other areas due to lack of share autorickshaws.

S. Anandan, a resident of Karapakkam on OMR, said travel was more expensive as there were no share autorickshaws connecting to other roads.

The two-day strike was observed following the nation-wide call of the Central Trade unions and the United Forum of Bank unions.

Residents, particularly those in western and northern suburbs, faced problems in using ATMs as some of them had run out of cash on Wednesday. Residents of Ambattur and Avadi said they had to visit at least three or four ATMs to withdraw cash. Some of them also raised doubts on the processing of cheques due to the strike. “If cheques are not cleared on Friday, I may have to wait till Monday for a cash transaction,” V. Sharmila of Purasawalkam said.

C.H. Venkatachalam of the All India Bank Employees’ Association, said nearly 21,000 employees, including officers, of 1,100 bank branches joined the strike. Nearly 5.5 lakh cheques worth over Rs. 5,500 crore could not be processed in the city due to the strike.

“We will decide on intensifying the strike later if our demands, including wage revision, compassionate appointments and regulated working hours, are not met,” he said.

Some of the post offices, including the one in Aminjikarai, were closed due to a shortage of staff on Thursday. Postal transactions, too, were severely hit as only 20-30 per cent of employees turned up on both days. Workers were tentatively outsourced to carry out daily transactions in some offices, such as the one in Vadapalani.

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