Chennai: Around 21 lakh cheques worth about Rs.16,000 crore could not be cleared on Friday owing to bankers strike against the violation of bilateral settlement by five associate banks of the State Bank of India (SBI), said a top leader of employees union.
According to All India Bank Employees' Association's (AIBEA) C.H.Venkatachalam, around 350,000 bankers participated in the strike across the nation which affected clearing of around 21 lakh cheques worth about Rs.16,000 crore.
The five associate banks of the SBI are State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, and State Bank of Travancore.
The strike also put several thousands of people into difficulty across the country, and they will be put to further hardship as Saturday and Sunday will be bank holidays.
"It is a matter of regret that the associate banks which are public sector banks and their managements do not care for the advice of the chief labour commissioner and insisted on violation of the bilateral settlement not caring for the law of the land," Venkatachalam said.
"While we are sorry for the unavoidable inconveniences to the banking public on account of this strike, we wish to clarify that the strike was forced on us because of the adamant approach management," he added in a statement issued here.
According to Venkatachalam, the management of SBI's five associate banks remained steadfast on implementing the new Career Progression Scheme (CPS) for their employees, violating the bilateral agreement with the union.
He said that the five banks want to abolish permanent cadres like sweepers and outsoucre their labour activity, but this cannot be done unilaterally.
AIBEA also perceives the uniform service conditions between SBI and its five associate banks as a further step towards merger.