For the second day in succession, the bank customers were put to serious trouble as most of the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in the State had dried up or was not functioning as refilling of cash could not be carried out.
On Tuesday, customers were seen standing in front of a few new generation private banks ATMs that were functioning as normal. Some of the smaller branches were kept open in the city, but there were hardly any transactions. Customers were asked to come on Wednesday.
Banking services in public sector banks, foreign banks, regional rural banks and private banks were totally hit, as the more than one lakh officers and employees are taking part in the 48-hour all India bank strike call given by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) since Monday seeking immediate wage revision and to protest against retrograde banking sector reforms. A demonstration was held in front of Syndicate Bank Anna Salai branch.
All India Bank Employees’ Association general secretary C.H. Venkatachalam said that the strike had paralysed the banking sector across the country. “In Tamil Nadu, all most all the 11,000 branches remained closed resulting in blockade of over 1.5 crore clearing cheques of Rs.1,40,000 crore. Government transactions, foreign exchange and money market operations were also affected to a large extent. Over 7,500 ATMs did not function.”
“The strike is to show our protest. We will work extra hours and restore normalcy in a day. We are always open to resolve the demands through discussions and negotiations. The UFBU will meet soon to decide about the next course of action,” he said.
Central government employees’ strike
The Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers, Tamil Nadu has announced a two-day all India strike on Wednesday and Thursday, in which 13 lakh employees would take part seeking immediate merger of dearness allowance with pay and grant of interim relief among other issues.