The bank strike though failed to completely paralyse banking operations, prevented physical clearance of cheques amounting to Rs 15,000 crore including Rs 4,000 crore in Mumbai.
Though some customers in cities remained unaffected people in the rural areas and those solely depending on cash withdrawals from branches got severely affected.
The one day strike of over 10 lakh bank employees including 40,000 from Mumbai owing allegiance to the United Forum of Bank Unions on Friday resulted in more than 80 per cent bank branches remaining closed while all new generation private banks remained open.
Employees of nine different unions of 27 PSU banks and private banks constituting about 80 per cent of all bank employees abstained from work. Their demands include compassionate appointment, fresh recruitments of 1 lakh posts, one more pension option, ban on outsourcing, merger of PSU banks and preventing attack on the employees unions and their rights.
Speaking to HT, S Nagarajan, deputy general secretary, All Indian Bank Officer’s Association said, "Our strike was completely successful. There was a total grinding halt of banking operations including money and forex markets. We may go for an indefinite strike unless our demands are met.”
He alleged that the Indian Banking Association (IBA) did not look at their demands, ‘forcing us to go on strike.”
Denying this IBA chief executive officer H Sinor told HT, “In the present day circumstances, it is impossible to meet all their demands. Though the bank strike today caused inconvenience for customers who visited branches for transactions, majority of customers did not take cognisance of the strike.”
He said 40 lakh ATM transactions were conducted at 20,000 ATMs all over India enabling customers to manage their cash requirements. Only from Mumbai 10 lakh cheques worth Rs 4,000 crore were cleared while money market and forex markets remained operational.