The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) claimed that 10 lakh employees of all the banks had participated in the strike in tune with the all-India general strike call given by 11 trade unions and United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) on Wednesday.
Central Trade unions and the UFBU claimed that the strike was successful across the country. However, with railway, bus services, taxis and autos remaining on road, the impact of strike was less in Mumbai.
AIBEA General Secretary Ch Venkatachalam in a press release said that all banks including RBI, SBI and other public sector banks, old generation private banks, foreign banks, Regional Rural Banks and Co-operative banks, employees and officers participated in the two day (February 20-21) strike.
The strike had paralyzed the banking transactions including cash transactions and clearance of cheques, Mr Venkatachalam added.
He said, “About 4 million cheques worth about Rs. 250 billion could not be processed on Wednesday in various clearing houses of National Payment Corporation, RBI and SBI. Clearing operations were totally affected in all the district and town centres also.”
The demands of the trade unions include:
1) Concrete measures to control inflation
2) Concrete measures for employment opportunities
3) Strict enforcement of labour laws
4) Universal social security cover for organized and unorganized workers and creation of a National Social Security Fund and
5) Stoppage of disinvestment in Central and state PSUs/undertakings
6) No contractorisation of work of permanent/perennial nature and payment of wages and benefits to the contract workers at the same rate as available to the regular workers of the industry/establishment
7) Amendment of the Minimum Wages Act to ensure universal coverage irrespective of the schedules and fixation of statutory minimum wage at not less than Rs. 10,000 linked with cost price index
8) Remove all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus, provident fund; Increase the quantum of gratuity
9) Assured Pension for all
10) Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days and immediate ratification of the ILO Conventions Nos. 87 and 98.