Banking ops partially hit in Mumbai due to strike

Mumbai: Banking operations were partially affected as a section of employees of public sector banks and financial institutions went on a day-long strike called by central trade unions today.

Banks in which employees owing allegiance to The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) were affected to some extent but the country's largest lender, State Bank of India, remained virtually unaffected.

Besides, private sector and foreign banks were also unaffected.

The AIBEA, however, claimed the strike was a success in Mumbai.

"The strike was a total success in Mumbai. Employees of all the nationalised banks, including IDBI, state-run lenders and RBI staffers have participated in the strike by not reporting to work," AIBEA General Secretary, Vishwas Utagi, told reporters here.

State Bank of India's officers besides those of several other public sector banks, have, however, not joined-in the strike but are extending their "fraternal support" to their striking compatriots.

This was announced yesterday by the All India State Bank Officers' Federation and All India Bank Officers' Confederation's General Secretary, G D Nadaf.

Employees owing allegiance to the General Insurance Employees' All India Association also participated in the strike.

Nearly 40,000 employees affiliated with the GIEAIA are participating in the strike, its Chairman, M S Upadhyay, said.

The AIBEA is strongly opposed to allowing FDI in private sector banks, Utagi said, adding that it was also demanding expansion of public sector banks' network from the present 40,000 branches to 1,00,000 throughout India.

It is also opposing removal of the 10 per cent cap on voting rights and making it up to 74 per cent and consolidation of public sector banks.

The striking bank employees are also opposed to the entry of new private banks as also the idea of handing over regional rural banks (RRBs) to corporate houses.

The Central trade unions have called for the day-long strike to protest the growing and unabated price rise, massive job losses in the name of recession, violations of labour laws and disinvestment in public sector undertakings, among others.