New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) Banking operations across the country were disrupted Friday with over one million members of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) representing public, private and foreign banks going on a daylong strike.
The UFBU, an umbrella organisation of nine different trade unions of bank officers and employees, had called the strike to protest government plans to merge state-owned banks, outsource many of the non-core activities and not to make fresh permanent appointments in non-essential areas.
Banking sources told IANS that with no compromise having been worked out during last minute talks with the chief labour commissioner in the capital, the UFBU decided to go ahead with the strike plans, hitting all money transaction activities.
'Except the non-unionised staff (contract employees), over one million members, including officers, have gone on a strike,' C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary of the All India Bank Employees Association, told IANS.
'While foreign banks are operating, their unionised members are supporting us.'
Among issues cited for the strike is the government decision not to provide employment on compassionate grounds but to recruit only on the basis of merit.
The government, according to the striking bank employees, has not been receptive to the demand to allow them to switch over from the provident fund scheme to a contributory pension scheme.
The UFBU is also seeking fresh recruitments to over 100,000 posts that have over the years been filled on contract basis.
The unions are also opposed to any plans for giving full voting rights to foreign banks picking up stake in Indian banks.
'This is a warning protest strike. We will be meeting again on Nov 9 for chalking out further plans,' said Venkatachalam.