Employees’ strike paralyses life
Banks across city remain closed on a nationwide strike call; CTU suspends service for two hours
■ CHANDIGARH: Financial transactions and banking services came to a standstill on Tuesday as over 12,000 employees of about 3,000 branches of public sector and nationalised banks in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh went on strike.
The employees were holding the protest against rising prices, disinvestments of profit-making Public Sector Undertakings (PSUS) and violation of labour laws.
The Employees' unions of banks had given a call for nationwide strike, demanding stringent measures to recover bad loans and opposing outsourcing of non-core activities in the private sector.
In the city, nearly 700 employees of 45 banks belonging to five trade unions - All India Bank Eemployees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE) and Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) - staying away from work.
Employees gathered at bank square and raised slogans agaisnt the goverment.
“We are with central trade
We are with central trade unions and oppose the government-appointed Khandelwal panel. Besides, we have a few demands for our employees working
in the banks SANJEEV BANDLISH SBI staff federation president
unions and oppose the central government-appointed Khandelwal panel. Besides, we have few demands for our employees working in the banks,” said Sanjeev Bandlish, president SBI All-india Staff Federation.
“The federation is demanding compassionate appointment in the banks and bonus for all employees.”
People were put through inconvenience as all banking activities remained paralysed.
“Due to the strike, I was unable to withdraw cash. I was supposed to make an urgent payment but now it has been delayed,” said Ravinder Bassi, a businessman.
The nation wide strike also affected health services in various hospitals of the city. Contract workers from Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector-32 (GMCH-32), Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector-16 (GMSH-16) left work and organised a protest in rally ground of Sector 25.
However, hospital authorities had already made the alternate arrangements in advance.
STRIKE HITS NORMAL LIFE IN PANCHKULA
Transport and Banks were the worst hit on Tuesday in Panchkula following the nationwide strike called by 11 trade unions.
About 300 branches of various banks remained shut and no transactions were carried out. The Haryana Bank Employees Federation demanded that strict measures be taken against non-performing assets.
Besides, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), income tax department, mid-day meal workers union and Sarv Karamchari Sangh also observed a strike.
Employees of Haryana Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC) gathered at Sector 5 bus stand and held a demonstration. Sanitary workers, electricity department employees and those working in tourism department also went on strike.
A BSNL union leader Vijender Singh said that the government should provide assistance to them to tide over losses and should not think of disinvestment. He demanded that contractual workers be regularised and salaries must be revised.
CTU SUSPENDS SERVICE FOR TWO HOURS
On the strike call given by the various trade unions , the Chandigarh Transport Workers Union on Tuesday suspended bus services for two hours from 12 noon to 2pm.
During these two hours, bus services on all the inter-state and city routes from ISBT sector-43 was halted. The workers of CTU and transport workers of Punjab jointly organised the strike.
RS Hans president of the workers union said the strike was organised to show solidarity with hundreds of other trade unions, which were observing strike across the country.
The leaders added that the buses were allowed to leave the bus terminus only after the joint rally organised by the transport workers of Punjab and Chandigarh.
Meanwhile, employees of department of electricity of Chandigarh administration also observed strike under the banner of UT Powermen Union.
The employees boycotted all repair and maintenance works.
AMBALA BANKS WEAR DESERTED LOOK
The Central Government Employees Coordination Committee, All India Bank Employees Association and Northern Railway Men Union observed a one-day strike in Ambala on Tuesday.
The functioning in nationalised banks was hit, while income tax, insurance, Military Engineering Works (MES), Post and Telegraphs, RMS offices wore a deserted look.
WHAT HAS KHANDELWAL PANEL SUGGESTED?
The central governmentappointed Khandelwal panel had suggested a slew of measures, including outsourcing more non-core activities in a time-bound manner.
The panel had also recommended raising the standard of recruitment, including the methodology and content for tests, besides making the testing of computer skills mandatory for both officers and clerks.
Employees of the Chandigarh Transport Union raising slogans at the Sector-43 ISBT; and (left) the doors of a national bank remain locked in Chandigarh.