IT WAS a day of strikes in the State capital with thousands of employees of banks, government departments and some public sector units abstaining from work on Thursday.
In the banking sector, work was partially affected following a call given by bank unions affiliated to the left parties in the State capital .The decision of the State Bank of India (SBI) unions to keep away from participating in the strike and the SBI branches remaining open did not cause any major disruptions in the banking work in the city.
The SBI with the largest number of branches and ATMs in Lucknow circle helped most customers transact normal business in the event of the closure of other public sector banks. The bank strike was called to oppose privatisation of banks, outsourcing of work by banks to private parties and to demand appointment of personnel on compassionate grounds in the event of the death of a bank employee.
Vice president of the UP Bank Employees Union, Parmanand said that cheques worth Rs 250 crore could not be cleared in the entire state on account of the strike.
The State Government Employee Union was also on strike. This strike completely paralysed work at various offices in the State capital.
A procession was also organised by the UP State Employees Confederation in the city after employees locked up the offices in Jawahar Bhavan in the morning hours.
State president of the confederation, Satish Kumar Pandey said that the employees of all the government departments participated in the procession.
State secretary of Bharatiya Khadya Nigam Karamchari Sangh, S P Singh informed that Nigam’s godowns in the entire state remained closed during the strike. “There was no delivery of food grains by trucks in the state,” he stated.
The offices in government schools were also affected by the strike as teachers not just in the State capital but also in the entire State went on strike. They demanded GPF rates at 12 per cent per annum.
District convenor of Karamchari Shikshak Samanvaya Samiti, UP, Ashok Kumar Dubey, said that the employees of the education department held demonstrations and meetings in their own office premises in support of their charter of demands.
Meanwhile members of Bharat ki Janwadi Naujawan Sabha disrupted traffic at the Sitapur-Lucknow national highway 24 in support of the State government employees.
The Federation of Central Warehousing Employees Union also organised a strike to oppose the efforts of the government to privatise warehousing operations in the country.
While UP State Tourism employees observed Thursday as ‘Pension Bachao Diwas’ in support of their charter of demands.
Members of Hindustan Aeronautics Employees Association that included employees of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) also went on strike in protest of the anti-worker policies of the Union government. These employees were demanding 50 per cent DA merger with the basic salary with effect from January 1, 2004.
The other employee unions, which joined the strike, included, Akhil Bharatiya Raksha Lekha Karamchari Sangh, Riksha Mazdoor Union, All India Postal Accounts Employees Association, UP General Insurance Employees Union, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal Medical & Sales Representatives Association and Uttar Pradesh Sthaniya Nikay Jalsansthan Karamchari Sangharsh Samiti among others.