On a call for a two-day strike by United Forum of Bank Unions, employees of all nationalised banks and other financial institutions observed complete strike on Wednesday against price rise, anti-labour policies of the government and the outsourcing of banking services.
Hundreds of bank employees and officers assebkled in their respective areas and marched towards the SBI main branch from where a march was taken out in the city. The march culminated in a mass rally at PNB Chowk, Negru Garden.
On account of the strike, 280 bank branches in the city and 630 branches of the district remained closed, paralysing the banking services.
Around 18,000 cheques amounting around Rs. 200 crore in Jalandhar city were not cleared, sources said, adding that cash transactions of Rs. 20 crore were affected in the city.
Convenor of the forum Amrit lal, while addressing the gathering, said that the attitude of the government was irresponsible and was against the interests of the employees and the general public.
"The government is trying to relinquish the concept of social banking and trying to help corporate houses," he claimed.
Other demands of the forum include defending trade union rights, stop banking reforms, stop outsourcing, early wage revision and to settle pending issues like compassionate appointment scheme in banking sector.
Meanwhile, other financial institutions including nationalised insurance companies also remained closed and trade unions affiliated to Centre of Indian Trade Unions also held protest rallies in the city.