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Bharat Bandh: Nation-wide two-day trade union strike hits banking, transport services

Feb 21 2013, 14:30 IST
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Noida violence has made authorities ultra-cautious, making for a tense stand-off against workers. (Reuters) Noida violence has made authorities ultra-cautious, making for a tense stand-off against workers. (Reuters)
SummaryNoida violence has made authorities ultra-cautious, making for a tense stand-off against workers.

Bharat Bandh: Nation-wide strike hit banking and transport sector day two of nationwide strike. While banking services were today paralysed with ATMs running out of cash in metro cities and public transport disrupted during the Central trade unions sponsored strike which evoked a mixed response in most states barring Kerala where normal life was hit.

Life remained normal in West Bengal though banking services were crippled with nationalised and private banks closed and ATMs remaining non-functional.

Transport services were normal and shops, markets and business establishments opened in the state.

In the national capital, commuters faced hardships for the second consecutive day as majority of auto-rickshaws and taxis stayed off the road in support of the strike.

Various industrial units and banks either remained closed or witnessed thin attendance while markets and commercial areas were open.

In Maharashtra, majority of ATMs dried up in the financial capital Mumbai.

"A majority of ATMs have dried up while (bank) branches are shut. Additionally, there has not been any cheque clearing as personnel from RBI too joined the strike. It will take at least 2-3 working days to clear the backlog for banks", said All India Bank Employees Association Vice President Vishwas Utagi.

Suburban railway, the city's life line, functioned normally and road traffic remained unaffected.

In Kerala, normal life was paralysed due to the strike with workers from most sectors ranging from transport to banking keeping away from work.

Reports from across the state said buses and taxis were off the roads and markets remained shut. Train and air services were not affected.

Attendance in government offices was thin and educational institutions remained closed as pro-Left service and teachers unions joined the strike. Universities have cancelled examinations scheduled for the last two days.

The unions have put forward a charter of 10 demands such as urgent steps to control price rise, strict enforcement of labour laws in all places of work, social security net for workers in the unorganised sector, end to disinvestment in PSUs and raising minimum wage to Rs 10,000 a month.

However, the strike had no major impact in most parts of Karnataka.

Though banking services were hit, many buses, taxis and autos plied and shops remained opened. However, schools and colleges were closed.

Employees of banks and public sector organisations in Andhra Pradesh continued their protests on the second day of the strike.

In Tamil Nadu, banking and postal services remained affected while shops remained open and transport services plied normally.

Members of the protesting trade unions staged demonstrations in various parts of Chennai.

Though there were reports that some labour unions representing employees of Maruti Udyog at its plants in Manesar and Gurgaon had joined the strike along with Unions of HeroMotoCorp, workers of the company attended duty in the state.

According to Union representatives of Hyundai Motor India Employees and Ford Motor India, which has manufacturing facilities at Sriperumbudur and Maraimalai Nagar, they have decided to conduct a mass rally today in view of the strike.

Transaction of cheques worth of Rs 3000 crore in Chennai were affected while most of the ATMs of several banks have dried out due to lack of cash.

In the north, public transport and banking services continued to be affected in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh due to the strike.

Reports pouring in from various places suggest that majority of state owned buses plying on inter-state routes and inter-city routes in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh did not ply.

With bank employees observing strike, banking transactions were hit, causing inconvenience to customers.

Industrial production in Punjab and Haryana was unaffected.

A report from Hisar has said activists of different trade unions staged dharnas in front of their respective offices.

Normal life was partially affected in several parts of Odisha due to the strike.

People faced difficulties in commuting as buses, taxis auto-rickshaws remained off the roads, leaving a large number of passengers stranded at different places.

Bank services in Mumbai hit as strike enters day 2

Mumbai: Majority of ATMs have dried up in the financial capital of Mumbai and banking operations across the city were hit on the second day of the general strike called by central trade unions for various demands.

"A majority of ATMs have dried up while the (bank) branches are shut. Additionally, there has not been any cheque clearing as personnel from RBI too joined the strike. It will take at least 2-3 working days to clear the backlog for banks", said All India Bank Employees Association Vice President Vishwas Utagi.

The strike witnessed near cent per cent participation by employees from banking and insurance sector in the financial hub, leaving their operations completely paralysed.

"We reiterate our demands, including the one for not allowing private sector participants into the fray for which we are holding the bandh", Utagi said.

Suburban railway, the city's life line, functioned normally and road traffic remained unaffected, though there were fewer passengers using public transport.

Flight operations at the Mumbai airport were also normal despite a section of airport unions declaring their support to the strike, an airport spokesperson said.

AP: Bank, govt employees hold protests as strike enters day 2

Hyderabad: Employees of banks and public sector organisations in Andhra Pradesh today continued their protests on the second day of the two-day strike called by Central trade unions in support of their various demands.

The personnel of various organisations, who stayed away from work yesterday, began their protests in Hyderabad and other places in Andhra Pradesh.

The employees of various PSU banks and workers in the unorganised sector took out protest rallies in Hyderabad and other parts of the state.

Services in banking and other PSU organisations were badly affected on the first day of the 48-hour general strike yesterday.

AITUC state unit president and MLC P J Chandrasekhar Rao had claimed that the strike was being held in an unprecedented manner with staff of the state-run miner Singareni Collieries, Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) joining the stir.

He claimed that 75 per cent of RTC buses, the principal mode of public transport in AP, remained off the roads yesterday.

Life unaffected in Karnataka due to strike

Bangalore: The two-day nationwide strike called by 11 Central trade unions had no major impact in most parts of Karnataka today.

Though banking services were hit, many buses, taxis and autos plied and shops and hotels remained opened here.

However, schools and colleges were closed.

No violence was reported from any part of the state, police said.

Services at many hospitals in the city were not hit, as also in IT companies. Several PSUs including HAL, BHEL and BEL, besides a host of other industrial units in Bangalore were functioning normally.

There was improvement in attendance in government offices, police said.

There has been no impact on normal life due to the strike in Belgaum district, sources said.

Visvesvaraya Technological University postponed Mtech, MCA and MBA examinations scheduled for today.

Partial impact of trade union strike in Odisha

(PTI) Normal life was partially affected in several parts of Odisha today on the last day of the two-day nation-wide strike called by central trade unions.

People faced difficulties in commuting as buses, taxis auto-rickshaws remained off the roads, leaving a large number of passengers, including women and children, stranded at different places.

In the state capital here, some three-wheelers were seen plying in many areas since this morning, giving respite to the commuters who had a tough time travelling yesterday.

Shops, markets, business establishments and petrol pumps remained closed, while eating joints and kiosks were found open today. Small traders and retailers also resumed their business operations, official sources said.

Banks remained closed with employees picketing and demonstrating at different places, while most educational institutions, including schools, were open.

Train services were disrupted by protesters blocking tracks at many places including Bhubaneswar, besides at Cuttack, Balasore, Khurda Road, Berhampur and Sambalpur, railway sources said.

A report from the port town of Paradip said that loading, unloading and other operations in the port were normal since this morning.

The strike was peaceful so far with police deployed at important places in an effort to prevent any untoward incident.

Gujarat: Banking services paralysed on day 2 of strike

(PTI) Banking services remained crippled in Gujarat affecting financial transactions worth over Rs 40,000 crore on the second day of the general strike called by central trade unions.

However, transport services resumed from midnight as Gujarat State Road Transportation Corporation (GSRTC) employees joined duty.

"Employees of GSRTC have resumed duty since midnight and services have normalised," GSRTC secretary P D Patel said.

Clearing house operations remained suspended for day two affecting cheque clearing to the tune of around Rs 40,000 crore, as over 12,000 officers and 35,000 other banking employees boycotted work on strike call given by the United Forum for Bank Union (UFBU).

"Clearing house operations remained suspended even today disrupting financial transactions (cheque clearing) to the tune of around Rs 40,000 crore across the state," said Shankar Patel, the general secretary of State Bank of India Officer Association (SBIOA), Ahmedabad.

Bank unions are demanding an early wage revision for employees, which they say is due from November 2012. They are also opposing banking sector reforms and any plan for merger of banks.

SBI has over 1,100 branches across Gujarat, while 21 other nationalised banks are estimated to have 2,000 odd branches, an official said.

Patel said nearly 12,000 bank officers and 35,000 other banking employees continued to be on strike in Gujarat on day two.

The banks employees staged a demonstration at Dena Bank on Ashram road to protest the economic policies of the government.

However, the ATMs were operating as usual, the official claimed.

Also, around 4,500 employees of LIC across the state continued to be on strike, supporting workers of banking and other public sector industry," said S I Bhatt, the general secretary of LIC employees Union, Gujarat Division.

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