90 lakh cheques could not be processed
Normal banking services in the State came to a grinding halt on the first day of the strike, following a 48-hour stir call given by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) demanding immediate wage revision for the bank employees and officers. Over one lakh employees and officers representing 26 public sector banks, 42 regional rural banks, 11 private sector banks and employees of seven foreign banks from the State took part in the strike.
Barring a few private banks, banking transactions including clearing operations were totally paralysed. All the bank branches remained closed, said All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) general secretary C.H. Venkatachalam on Monday.
“In Chennai clearing house, about 90 lakh cheques worth about Rs.64,000 crore could not be processed. The strike also affected government transactions, foreign exchange transactions and money market operations.
In several places, Automated Teller Machines were dried up. A large section of bank employees staged a demonstration in front of the Union Bank of India, Broadway,” said Mr. Venkatachalam.
In a related move, the Indian Banks Association (IBA) cancelled the conciliation meet scheduled for Thursday in Mumbai.
“This is the second time that we are forced to call for a strike on wage revision issue. The last strike was held on December 18. The strike was forced on us since IBA and the government did not settle our demands. Further, IBA did not improve its offer on wage increase from 10 per cent as it had promised earlier. We are sorry that the public have been subject to inconvenience,” he said.
According to Mr. Venkatachalam, the wage revision settlement was due to officers and employees from November 2012.
Though UFBU had submitted the charter of demands in October 2012, the IBA failed to respond positively.