Chandigarh, Sep 24 (UNI) Banking services remained paralysed in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh, with public sector bank employees going on a two-day nation-wide strike from today to protest the Centre's move to privatise and merge PSBs.
A large number of public sector bank officers and employees gathered in front of State Bank Of India's local head office in Sector 17 in Chandigarh and took out a procession to Bank Square.
Protesting the Centre's plan for complete privatisation of the banking sector in phases, merger of PSU Banks and proposed amendment to the Banking Regulation Act, the bank employees raised slogans against the government and deplored the government's ''anti -employees and anti-public policies''.
The nation-wide bank strike was called by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU).
The rally was addressed by leaders of UFBU, who threatened to go on idefinite strike during the month of November and December in case their issues remain unresolved.
In Patila, Amar Singh, General Secretary, Associate Banks Officers Association unit State Bank of Patiala stated the IBA has failed to implement the MOU signed on pension option and compassionate appointments.
''We want peace and harmony in the banking industry but it appears that the government is foisting more and more struggles on unions by hurrying up with their reforms agenda and the managements are compounding the attacks by their unilateral actions. The unions have accepted the challenge and they will continue their struggle till their legitimate demands are accepted by IBA and Central Government,'' he said.
In Himachal Pradesh also the strike was successful as all public sector banks observed complete strike. The bank employees arranged gate-meeting outside the respective branches.
Meanwhile, private and other regional state co-operative banks remained open throughout the day.
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