The Bank Strike by public sector bank employees and officials against privatization will continue for the second day today. As many as one million employees and officials across the country took part in the strike, disrupting the services of state-owned banks on Monday. As many as Rs 16,500 crores worth of checks could not be transacted on Monday due to the closure of banks’ service branches. Bank services are also likely to be affected on Tuesday. So even today, consumers have to rely on ATMs and digital banking services.
Monday’s strike had a major impact. Offices of public sector banks in major cities, including Mumbai, were hit by the strike. In some branches, trade unions chanted slogans against the central government. In Mumbai, State Bank of India, Canara Bank, Bank of India, IDBI, and Bank of Maharashtra were closed for a full day on Monday. So the customers had to suffer a lot.
The process of check clearing, demand draft, and pay orders is completed at three major locations in the country. Out of this, 58 lakh checks and DDs are handled at the center in Chennai. An average of Rs 5,150 crore was lost due to the strike. In Mumbai, 86 lakh checks, DDs, and pay orders are handled daily. But that did not happen on Monday. About Rs, 6,500 crores worth of checks, DDs, and pay orders came to a standstill in Mumbai.
At the Center in Delhi, banks process 57 lakh checks, DDs, and pay orders every day. As many as Rs 4,850 crores worth of checks were stalled in Delhi on Monday due to the strike, the union said.
The nationwide strike of the banks is not only for the demands of the employees but also to save the public bank. The strike was called to protect the bank from private investors, said All India Bank Employees Association general secretary C. H Venkatachalam said.
The central government had announced in the budget the privatization of IDBI and two state-owned banks. As a result, trade unions have become aggressive. As many as 10 lakh bank employees and officials of 12 public sectors, 12 old-fashioned private, six foreign, and 56 regional rural banks have been on a two-day strike since Monday against bank privatization. These banks handle Rs 150 lakh crore or 70 percent of the total banking business. Therefore, the banking sector is likely to be hit hard on Tuesday as well.