Stir hits banking services for more than one hour

Cheque clearance and other financial transactions at the main branch of State Bank of Mysore here were crippled on Monday as the staff resorted to a snap protest seeking what they described as unconditional reinstatement of 90 employees, who had been removed from services.

As a result of the protest, the banking services went totally astray between 12.15 p.m. and 1.30 p.m..

About 300 customers, including a few pregnant women and elderly persons, had to wait in front of the closed counters, expecting the return of the staff members and resumption of transactions.

However, the protest was withdrawn after 1.30 p.m.

The bank, situated next to the post office, was brimming with customers when the staff suddenly closed the counters to participate in the protest. Initially, the customers assumed that the staff had gone for a coffee break. However, the staff members did not resume duty even after 20 minutes.

The customers started shouting slogans against the bank officials and demanded that the counters be opened immediately. Later, the bank officials announced that they were expressing their solidarity with some of their colleagues, who had been retrenched.

Bhavya, resident of Tavaregere, said that she had to skip a naming ceremony due to the protest.

“I have to be in Mysore by 2 p.m. I have been waiting at the counter for the past one hour. But, there is no one to tender a demand draft,” she said. Terming the protest illegal and against banking rules, Assistant General Manager of the bank B.G. Patil said that the management would initiate disciplinary action against those who participated in the protest.

“A few clerical staff of the branch had participated in the protest,” he told The Hindu.

Social worker Shivakumar, who took exception to the snap stir, urged the authorities concerned to initiate appropriate action against the protesters.