Business transactions worth Rs 380 crore were affected as 750 branches of public sector banks in Jalandhar district remained closed as part of the ongoing strike of bank employees.
The United Forum of Bank Unions, which comprises nine national unions, has given a call for zone-wise relay strikes from December 2 to 5, demanding early wage revision among other things.
More than 3,000 bank employees and officers joined the strike in the district, being oserved to press the Centre to review the ninth bipartite settlement, which expired on October 31, 2012 and wage revision due since November 1, 2012.
The protesters said that bank employees were underpaid and the government is meting out a step-motherly treatment towards them. The Indian Banks' Association (IBA) has offered 11% hike in wages that will make an additional burden of Rs 3465 crore in the wage bill while unions have demanded 23% hike.
The protesting bank employees were also agitated over the fact that Rs 35,000 crore are written off every year by the banks and there are no stringent laws to recover bad loans amounting up to Rs 2,36,000 crore.
Only Rs 2,04,000 crore of bad loans have been written off in the past 13 years, causing grave inconvenience for the bank employees.
Banking hit in Nakodar, Shahkot
Normal banking operations were hit in Nakodar, Shahkot sub-divisions and Nurmahal sub-tehsil as public sector bank employees observed strike.
It was, however, business as usual at private sector banks like ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank.
Bank unions are also opposing banking sector reforms and any plan for merger of banks. Earlier, bank employees had observed a one-day national strike on November 12.