Strike paralyses banking operations in State

Banking operations came to a standstill and most ATMs remained closed on Tuesday with officers and employees of all nationalised banks in Kurnool district going on a day’s strike. They are demanding early initiation of wage revision process, assured pension scheme, improvement in family pension scheme, five-day banking, total income tax exemption on superannuation benefits, removal of ceiling on gratuity and appointment of employee-directors in banks.

The striking bank employees opposed the proposed banking and labour reforms, labour law amendments and outsourced appointments. The leaders of United Forum of Bank Unions Nagaraju,Venkateswarlu, Sagar and Madduleti and SBI Officers Association leader Viswanath and CITU district secretary Nagaraju addressed a meeting of striking employees at the SBI main branch in Kurnool town. They raised slogans on their demands.

In Tirupati, bank employees staged a demonstration at the MCT Circle on Tuesday. Voicing their demands through slogans and placards, the protesters opposed the ‘anti-worker’ policies, reforms in the banking sector and outsourcing appointments. UFBU Convenor (Tirupati) L. Chandrasekhar along with others from bank unions such as All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE) etc., took part in the protest.

In East Godavari district, all the employees of about 700 branches of different banks observed strike. Along with the public sector undertakings, employees of the private banks too joined the strike registering their protest against the proposed reforms in the banking sector and demanding framing of criminal charges against the wilful defaulters along with payment of overtime allowance for the services rendered by the staff during the demonetisation period.

The employees also demanded that the vacancies be filled in all the branches with immediate effect and the new wage agreement should be announced without further delay. The bank employees staged a demonstration in front of the regional office of the Andhra Bank in Kakinada. In Srikakulam, employees of various banks organised a human chain after conducting rally opposing the Union government’s policies over banking sector.

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