PSU bank employees on strike, operations hit partially
New Delhi : Banking operations were hit partially today as a section of public sector banks’ employees went on a strike across the country to protest violation of bilateral settlement agreement by associate banks of SBI.
Some of the services, like cash handling at branch level and clearing of checks were affected in the banks where presence of All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) is strong.
Private sector banks and country’s largest lender SBI continues to function normally.
As precautionary measures, most of the banks, including United Bank of India, had issued advisory to their customers saying they will take all necessary steps in terms of existing guidelines for smooth functioning of branches or offices on the day of strike, in the event it materialises on January 8.
The strike call was given on December 28 to protest violation of the bilateral settlement by five associate banks of the SBI and their attempt to force unilateral service conditions on the employees, AIBEA general secretary C H Venkatachalam had said.
Five subsidiaries of SBI are State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur.
Mahesh Mishra, General Secretary of AIBEA-affiliated Rajasthan Pradesh Bank Employees Union said over 15,000 employees at 3,500 bank branches in the state went on strike.
The bipartite agreement’s conditions were changed without taking the employees union in confidence, and a career progression scheme was launched for associate bank employees without any agreement, Mishra said while addressing a gathering of striking employees at Chaura Rasta in Jaipur.
If the changes in service rules of associate banks are not withdrawn, AIBEA will hold an indefinite strike, and a special meeting has been called in Chennai on January 13, he added.
Unionists of SBBJ, BOI, Dena Bank, Allahabad Bank, AIBEA and Cooperative Bank addressed the gathering and strongly condemned SBI’s move for “unwarranted changes” in the service rules of associate banks.