Banking services in Bengal paralysed for second day

August 23rd, 2012 - 1:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 23 (IANS) Banking services in West Bengal remained paralysed for the second consecutive day Thursday, the last day of the two-day nationwide stir called by employees of most public and some private banks to protest against some provisions of the proposed banking sector reforms bill.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella organisation of nine major bank employees’ associations, called for the strike from Wednesday after the reconciliation talks with the chief labour commission failed Tuesday.

“The 10,000 bank employees, who had joined the strike yesterday (Wednesday), continued the stir today (Thursday). Almost all the bank branches, except regional rural banks (RRBs) and cooperative banks, remained closed for the second day,” Gautam Bose, general secretary, UFBU (West Bengal state unit), told IANS.

The ATMs of most of the public as well as private sector banks in the state remained closed Thursday.

The strikers are opposing outsourcing of non-core services to outside agencies and other “anti-labour” policies which they say would jeopardise jobs in the banking sector and undermine collective bargaining strength of the employees.

The Banking Laws Amendment Bill, 2011, which is to come up for approval in parliament, contains provisions such as raising shareholders’ voting rights from 10 percent to 26 percent in private banks and supersession of bank boards.

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