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PSU banks strike disrupts services

All major state-owned banks, barring SBI, BoB and IOB, protest outsourcing and demand further pension options. Should strikes be made illegal?
None | By Press Trust of India, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 28, 2006 04:25 PM IST

Banking services were affected on Friday as employees of most of the public sector banks boycotted work to protest outsourcing while demanding fresh recruitment of staff and one more pension option.

"We are opposing outsourcing of banking services to private parties, outsourcing of clearing functions of Reserve Bank, forced merger and acquisition in the name of consolidation and proposed hike in voting rights for foreign investors," All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) joint secretary Rama Nand said at a demonstration in New Delhi.

One more pension option should be given to employees to switch from provident fund to another pension scheme, he said, adding that banks should make fresh recruitment of staff.

"Over five lakh employees are participating in the strike today and the stir will be further intensified in the coming days if government do not fulfill our demands," Rama Nand said.
The strike call has been given by AIBEA, Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) and All India Bank Officer's Association (AIBOA).

Functions in State Bank of India was unaffected while there could be partial impact of the strike on Bank of Baroda and Indian Overseas Bank as most of the employees are part of another union, National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), which is giving only moral support to the strike.

However, SBI Associate banks are participating in the strike, which has crippled functions of other PSU banks including Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Canara Bank, Indian Bank, Bank of India and Union Bank.

Clearing house operations will also be paralysed, as the Reserve Bank employees are also on strike.

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