New Delhi. ATM services and the banking operations across the country were worst affected on Wednesday with the day-long Bharat Bandh which was called by 10 major trade unions against the government’s ‘anti-people’ policies.
A number of states including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Odisha, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Kerala, West Bengal and Assam experienced disruptions in banking and financial services.
In these states, the ATMs went dry by the evening as people had to rush to withdraw cash for their personal use. The situation of crisis came as there is usually heavy demand for cash during the first 10 days of a month due to various reasons.
Apart from bank employees, the staff of public sector insurance companies and the RBI too participated in the strike. Besides, class III and IV employees of National Insurance, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance Co participated in the strike.
All India Reserve Bank Employees Association (AIRBEA) and All India Reserve Bank Workers Federation (AIRBWF) also participated in the strike.
As per updates, over 12,000 staff of the RBI from 19 offices across the country, including from the central office in Mumbai, too joined the protest. It affected various departments including currency management, government and public accounts.
In Maharashtra, the banking services were also affected as nearly 40,000 bank employees, including 10,000 officers joined the protest. However, SBI, the country’s largest lender and private sector banks remained opened.
In many states, banking services like cash withdrawal and deposits were affected as employees did not turn up for work and instead chose to sit outside on protest.
The trade unions who joined the protest include INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC. Besides, various independent federations and associations had adopted a declaration in September last year to go on a nationwide strike on January 8, 2020.