Banking operations have been affected across the country on Friday with employees of public sector and old private sector banks going on a day-long strike in protest at the banking sector reforms.
10 Lakh bank employees on strike across India
'About 10 lakh bank employees and officers working in public sector banks, old private banks, cooperative banks and regional rural banks are on strike,' the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) convener C H Vekatachalam claimed.
The UFBU is an umbrella organisation of five workman unions and four officer unions of public sector and private sector banks in the country.
Operations in branches of public sector banks are affected and cheque clearance would be delayed.
The other issues include outsourcing of bank jobs and attempts to impose 'anti-employee' recommendations of Khandelwal Committee, he said.
In addition, there is pending issues related with pension and regulated working hours for officers.
In the name of banking sector reforms, he said, the government is attempting to reduce their share of equity capital in the public sector banks, thereby, increasing the hold of private capital in these banks.
The government is also pursuing their policy of consolidation and merger of public sector banks, which are totally unwarranted and would in no way benefit in strengthening banks, he said.
The bank unions met Financial Services Secretary, DK Mittal, as well as the IBA (Indian Banks' Association) Chairman on Thursday, but no solution could be found and the stalemate continued.