NEW DELHI: Banking operations in public sector banks across the country were partially affected on Thursday as some bank unions joined the one-day nationwide strike called by central trade unions.
Cash transaction including deposits and withdrawal at branches, forex and government transactions have been impacted in many public sector banks where participating unions are strong.
However, State Bank of India and private sector banks are functional.
Ten central trade unions, except Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, are observing the nationwide general strike to protest against various policies of the central government.
Many lenders including Bank of Maharashtra had informed customers in advance that normal working could be affected at the branches and offices due to the strike.
The All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) are participating in the strike.
Besides, All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) has extended fraternal support to strike.
The strike by unions is against anti-labour policy of the government and bank employees are protesting against the privatisation of banks, outsourcing and contract system in jobs in the sector, AIBEA general secretary C H Venkatachalam said.
"Lok Sabha in its recently held session has passed three new labour enactments by dismantling existing 27 enactments in the name of 'Ease of Business', which are purely in the interest of corporates.
"In the process, 75 per cent of workers are being pushed out of the orbits of labour laws since they will have no legal protection under the new enactment," he said.
Ten central unions - Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Trade Union Co-ordination Centre (TUCC) and Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) have called for the general strike.
Meanwhile, normal life was partially affected in parts of West Bengal on Thursday due to the nationwide strike called by several trade unions in protest against the Centre's economic policies.
The 24-hour bandh called by a joint committee of the central trade unions began at 6 am.
Bandh supporters, mostly activists of CPI(M)- affiliated outfits like CITU and DYFI, brought out rallies in Jadavpur, Garia, Kamalgazi, Lake Town and Dumdum areas in and around Kolkata, disrupting vehicular movement and asking shopkeepers to pull down the shutters of their establishments, an official said.
They picketed outside Howrah railway station, asking vehicle operators to stop services but a large police contingent was deployed to ensure normal plying of vehicles, he said.
Bandh enforcers also blocked roads in Coochbehar and Jhargram districts, burning tyres and breaking the windscreen of buses, the official said.
Train services were affected in Sealdah South and Main sections as agitators put logs on railway tracks, he said.
Flight services at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport here, however, have remained unaffected so far, the official said.
"People are supporting our peaceful protests as it is in their interests," a Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activist in Howrah said.
The ruling Trinamool Congress in the state did not support the strike but said it backed the Left and Congress' flagging of the economic issues.
The agitating central trade unions, along with independent federations and associations, expect the participation of 25 crore workers in the strike.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)