Banking services in public sector banks and some private banks across the State were hit on Monday, as the officers and employees started their two-day all-India strike against banking reforms and demanding wage revision.
Although sources in the banking industry admitted that several ATMs had no cash, they said the problem was not widespread. However, a senior official of a public sector bank indicated that more ATMs could run out of cash as most them were last loaded on Saturday. Officers and employees of more than 15 banks, including State Bank of India and five associate banks, old generation private sector banks, regional rural banks and some cooperative sector banks are participating in the nationwide strike. In Karnataka, about 20,000 officers and employees, including about 5,000 in Bangalore, struck work on Monday.
The staff gathered outside the State Bank of Mysore head office on K.G. Road to protest. “While wage revision should have been implemented from November 1, 2012, we are still in the preliminary stage of discussion. The Union government has already notified the seventh pay commission. There has been undue delay in revising our pay,” said All-India Bank Officers’ Confederation general secretary Y. Sudarshan.
Despite several rounds of discussion with Indian Banks’ Association, he said, the outcome had been disappointing and even the next round of talks scheduled on February 13 had been deferred. “We are also opposed to reforms that will affect the robust banking industry, which withstood shocks from the 2008 banking crisis in the U.S.,” he added.