Banking operations were hit across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Tuesday following the nationwide strike call given by two employee unions. All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) had called for strike across the country protesting bank mergers and fall in deposit rates, among others.
AIBEA general secretary C H Venkatachalam said employees took out processions, rallies and held demonstrations and protested government’s decision across various cities and towns. “Because of the strike, normal banking services were affected. Clearing of cheques were affected as cheques could not be collected by banks and sent for clearances,” he said.
Government treasury transactions were also affected, he claimed, adding that several ATMs went dry. Employees of some public sector banks staged a protest holding placards that read “Banking density is much lower in India. We need bank expansion, bank penetration. We do not
need consolidation and mergers.”
“Ten banks will now become four banks. Government will say it is merger, but in reality it is closure of banks,” another placard said.
“All the Central Trade Unions, INTUC, AITUC, LPF, UTUC extended support to our strike,” Venkatachalam said. The AIBEA and BEFI would shortly meet and decide on further course of action, he added.