Bank unions have claimed that cheques worth Rs 21,500 crore will not be cleared on Wednesday due to the bank employees’ strike.
Five trade unions from the banking industry including AIBEA, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF and INBOC, employees of RBI, co-operative banks, RRBs have joined the National General Strike called by the central trade unions - INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC along with various independent federations and unions in different sectors to protest against the alleged continued anti-worker labour policies of the government.
C H Venkatachalam, general Secretary, All India Bank Employees Union said that customers will not be able to deposit or withdraw cash as ATMs will also be affected.
In the Clearing Grids, about 28 lakh cheques worth about Rs 21,500 crore will not be cleared due to the strike, he said.
"In the banking sector, we find that the government’s policy is privatisation and unwarranted merger of banks despite our vehement protests. On the other hand, the main issue of recovery of corporate bad loans is being ignored and concessions are being given to them while service charges are increased for the common people," he said.
The unions' demands include strengthening of public sector banks (PSBs), no privatisation, no closure of bank branches, and opening more branches in unbanked, rural areas. They allege that after the merger of associate banks with SBI, 6,950 branches have been closed and merged.