Around 2 million cheques worth about Rs 18,000 crore could not be sent for clearance due to the strike called by bank employees on Thursday. Bank employees joined the national general strike called by various unions and independent federations in different sectors in protest against the continued anti-worker labour policies of the government.
C H Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees Union (AIBEA), said that nearly 2 million cheques worth Rs 18,000 crore could not be sent to clearing houses due to the strike.
"Employees joined the strike with enthusiasm and expressed their anger against the government’s policies. We thank them for their participation and support to the strike," he said.
Apart from AIBEA, other bank unions - AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF, AIRBEA, AIRBWF, Unions in RRBs, Unions in co-operative banks also joined the strike.
Venkatachalam said that in spite of opposition from the unions, the government was going ahead with its policy of privatisation and unwarranted merger of banks. He also said that instead of focussing on recovery of corporate bad loans, the government was giving concessions to corporates and increasing service charges for common people.
Unions' demands include strengthening of public sector banks instead of their privatisation. Unions also oppose allowing corporate houses to promote banks, closure of bank branches and the amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank. The unions have also urged the government to take action against 9,331 wilful defaulters, who alone owe Rs 1,22,018 crore to the country's lenders.