Banking services in public sector banks in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh were hit because of the one-day strike. However, private sector banks remained open. Bank unions such as AIBEA, AIBOA, BEFI, INBOC, NOBW, INBEF and NOBO are participating in the strike, said Punjab Bank Employees Federation, Secretary Naresh Gaur.
Country's largest lender State Bank did not participate in the stir. "We are not on strike. All our employees are working today," SBI deputy managing director and CDO Ashwini Mehra said.
The Bank of Maharashtra said its services were partially hit, particularly the clearing house. "All transactions happening through alternate channels like mobile banking, Internet banking and ATM withdrawls are not affected. There will be some impact on treasury operations as the staff is less," Bank of Maharashtra executive director RK Gupta told PTI.
However, bank union leaders claimed success of their strike. "We are opposing the government plan to privatise and consolidate public sector banks. We are also against the labour laws of this government which are against trade unions and deny them their rights," an office-bearer of the All-India Bank Employees Association said.
As many 14 major bank unions are on strike extending support to the 10 central trade unions' call for the one-day nationwide protest against government's anti-labour policies. A large section of the nearly 10 lakh employees (as SBI is keeping away) and officers from 24 public sector banks, 11 private sector banks, nine foreign banks, 56 regional rural banks, 650 co-operative banks, the employees of Reserve Bank, Nabard and Sidbi are skipping offices on Wednesday, partially impacting normal operations.
Bank unions are protesting against government's ping in private sector players into the banking sector and also its plan to revamp public sector banks which are against the interest of state-run banks and their employees.