Routine operations at banking, insurance, aviation, petrol and gas, defence undertakings, central secretariat came to standstill in Indore as thousands of officials and employees on Wednesday went on day-long nation-wide strike to protest against proposed changes in labour laws and privatisation of state-run companies.
Strike badly hit banking operations as day-long shut caused inconvenience to a large numbers of customers. Salary related issues were the major cause behind the strike.
However, some respite came from State Bank of India for thousands of customers as two employee unions at the SBI did not participate in the strike and more than 1100 SBI branches remained open across the state.
Employees and officials abstained from their work to press their 12-point charter of demands including ending disinvestment in public sector units, urgent measures to contain price rise, contain unemployment, strict enforcement of basic labour laws, universal social security cover for all workers and minimum wage of Rs 15,000 per month.
According to Madhya Pradesh Bank Employees Association, no financial transaction took place in 4700 out of 6500 different branches of 19 nationalised banks and 13 private banks across the state after bank staff decided to join the strike along with their counterparts from other central government undertakings.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Mohankrushna Shukla, chairman of Madhya Pradesh Bank Employees Association and convener, United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella organisation comprising various employee bodies, said, "Magnitude of banking transactions remains around Rs 4000 crore per day across the state, including Rs 400 plus crore alone in Indore.
Shukla said banking activities remain shut at more than 4700 branches out of 6500 across the state.
Apart, banking operation, the effect of the strike was visible on the roads as all the state-run public buses remained off roads, creating problems for commuters.
Long queues of commuters and schoolchildren could be seen at bus stops early in the morning, while passengers were stranded at airports as taxis and rickshaws stayed off the streets. Shops and banks too were shut.
Total banks join strike: 19 nationalised and 13 private players.
Total officials/ employees join strike: More than 2,400 across city
Employees from 4700 branches across the state joined the strike
Transaction affected (in state): Rs 4000 crore in Madhya Pradesh.
Transaction affected (in Indore) : Rs 400+ crore in Indore.
(As per figures provided by MP Bank Employees Association)