Normal banking operations were hit on Wednesday as employees of public sector banks went on a two-day strike in response to a call given by central trade unions to press for wage hike in the backdrop of rising inflation.
The nation-wide strike call has been given by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), consisting of nine national level unions, including AIBEA, NCBE, BEFI, INBEF, NOBW and AIBOC.
Apprehending disruption in their normal banking operations, many banks had already informed their customers about the proposed strike. Meanwhile, sources said, banks have taken steps to ensure that public do not face problems at least on the cash front during the strike period. Banks have fed additional cash in ATMs to meet the cash needs of their customers.
Bank unions are pressing for early wage revision of employees, which they said is due from November 2012. They are also opposing banking sector reforms and any plan for merger of banks.
There are 26 public sector banks with employees strength of around 10 lakh. In December 2012 also, four bank unions went on strike opposing amendments carried out in Banking Regulation Act and Banking Companies Act, enabling foreign equity in public sector banks.
The bank strike is part of a general strike call given by 11 central trade unions including Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and All India United Trade Union Centre.