Around 60,000 bank employees in Tamil Nadu went on strike for the second day on Thursday as part of the nationwide shutdown called by bank unions to press for their six-point charter of demands, including stopping of privatisation and merger and acquisition of public sector banks.
Conciliatory talks between the United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU) leaders and S.K. Mukhopadhyay, chief labour commissioner, in New Delhi on Tuesday failed to break the stalemate over the issue.
Bank employees held demonstrations in front of the Union Bank of India office at Broadway in Chennai on Thursday.
"We wanted a commitment from the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) that there will not be any move on reform measures in the banking sector and also a time frame within which worker related issues - pension option, wage negotiations and others - are sorted out. The IBA declined to give any commitment on any of the issues," C.H. Venkatachalam, convenor UFBU, told IANS.
According to bank officials, ATMs have adequate cash to meet the needs of customers.
R. Raghunathan, a retired government employee, said: “I have debit and credit cards so I am not facing any problems. Earlier, we used to withdraw money as soon as we were informed of a bank strike."
Revathi Vasan, former employee of Canara Bank, said: “The demands - appointment on compassionate grounds and another option for pension scheme - are reasonable. No doubt the service level has to go up but it seems the problem lies with the core banking solution because systems hang at frequent intervals.”