Divisions among workers renders it a partial success

Banking activity in the State was hit on Thursday as a result of the strike by employees and officers in protest against the amendments to banking regulations that are aimed at facilitating the entry of Indian corporate groups to venture into banking.

H. Vasanth Rai, general secretary, Karnataka Pradesh Bank Employees Federation, an affiliate of the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), the largest bank union, admitted that the “divisions” among the workers resulted in the strike “not being an absolute success”.

Mr. Rai said that about two-thirds of the 75,000 employees and officers in the industry in the State participated in the strike.

Union sources admitted that officers and employees belonging to the State Bank of India, the Bank of Maharashtra, the Bank of Baroda and the Indian Overseas Bank, represented by the National Confederation of Bank Employees and the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation, stayed away from the strike.

The sources pointed out that the SBI has about 16,000 employees and officers in the State. “A redeeming feature of the strike was that it was effective in private banks such as ING Vysya Bank and Karnataka Bank,” he said.

B.S. Ravindra, Convenor of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the platform of bank unions that has opposed reforms in the banking industry, termed the strike a “big success, especially because it was organised at such short notice”.  

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