KOCHI: Banking operations were hit in the state following the nationwide strike by the employees of the PSU banks on Tuesday.
“The strike, in protest against the various decisions of the Central Government, including mergers, privatisation and unfriendly labour laws, was total in Kerala and across the country,” said C D Joson, state convenor of United Forum of Bank Unions(UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions which called the strike.
UFBU urged the government to compensate the bank employees, who have been working
extra hours, especially during last November and December, due to the demonetisation of high value notes.
Top private banks in the country- ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank functioned normally as they refrained from participating in the strike. Employees of the IT departments of some state-run banks have been granted exemption from the strike.
The other demands of the bank employees included early initiation of process of next wage revision of bank employees, adequate recruitment in all cadre, stringent measures to recover bank loans and accountability of top executives.
The bank unions have also pitched for criminal action against wilful defaulters. Unions are also opposed to the proposed labour reforms of the government and outsourcing of permanent jobs in the banking sector.