Banking services were hit across the state as employee unions of public sector banks went on a nation-wide strike owing to national call, pressing for wage revision.
Major banking operations, including cheque clearance and withdrawal, left many consumers disappointed. As per a raw estimate, banking operations of worth `500 crore was affected in the state.
However, the private sector banks remained open while ATMs were functioning normally till afternoon, but reports of several ATM running out of cash poured in the evening.
Bank employees have been demanding wage revision since long. On the call of national bank employee union, Himachal Pradesh United forum of Bank unions (HPUFBU) observed strike in the state. HPUFBU general secretary Prem Verma said the strike was successful. “We do not want to cause inconvenience to anybody, but have been forced upon as management does not respond to our demands,” said Verma.
He said wage revision was pending since November, 2012. “After every five year the wage revision is being done, but is pending since 2012. We have even scaled down our demands, but the management is not ready to address our issues,” added he.
Kushal Sharma, a resident of Kaithu, was disappointed as he could not cash the cheque. “Even the nearest ATM ran out of cash and cheque could not be in-cashed due to the strike,” he said.
There are over 3,000 PSU bank branches across the state where strike was observed.
Earlier, the federation had started a strike across the state. Federation leaders also stated that in banking sector, new recruitments, including officers, were being paid less wages as compared to earlier recruited officer of the same rank. “Work pressure is increasing day-by-day, especially on clerical staff and wages are less as compared to the work pressure,” said one official, requesting anonymity.