Though the 48-hour long bank strike called by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) ended at 6 am on Wednesday, it will take at least two days for the banking operations to reach normal level.
In the state, banking transactions worth `30,000-35,000 crore were hit due to the strike. According to banking sources non-clearing of cheques alone affected transactions worth `15,000. Around 35,000 employees from 5,100 bank branches did not turn up for work for two days starting Monday 6 am. The exporters, businessmen and traders were among the most affected. Banking consumers in the state who rely on ATMs, numbering over 5300, for cash withdrawals were also hit as majority of them dried out by Tuesday.
Bank branches, administrative offices, currency exchange outlets and clearing houses across the state remained closed since Saturday afternoon in Kerala. Four employees unions and five officers unions joined hands under the UFBU for the strike, which was mainly called for demanding wage revision.
“As the banks in the state did not function for the past three and half days, it will take at least two days to bring normalcy in banking operations. There will be long queues in banking branches on Wednesday which will usually delay the service delivery. Workload may fail the electric service channel in various banks also,” he said.
K R Jayaprakash, Lead Bank Manager, Ernakulam District said that the work backlog may slow down banking operations once the banks start functioning.
C D Joson, state convener of United Forum of Bank Unions hinted that another strike cannot be ruled out If the government does not agree to the demands of the unions.
Bank officials assured that the ATMs will start functioning fully from Wednesday morning onwards.