RBI employees say to strike on Oct 21

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Mumbai, Oct 18 (UNI) Operations of the Reserve Bank of india will come to a grinding halt on October 21 in the midst of the financial market strom rocking the indian economy as officers and staff have ointly called for a strike seeking higher pension.

The strike is being held after nearly 13 years and the RBI in a release here declared the move as illegal without due notice. The Apex Bank said that the move was uncalled for and and ammounted tocessation of work.

The United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees has given a call to its members to apply for mass casual leave on Tuesday.

The RBI, headquartered in Mumbai, the country's financial capital, revises employees' salaries every five years, but a union official said pensions were not reset at the same time, causing hardship as prices rise.

''The present pension is hardly enough as inflation is high,'' Satish Sawant, president of the All India Reserve Bank Officers' Association that represents about a third of the bank's staff said.

Sawant said the one-day strike would affect payment and settlement operations between the country's banks.

Staff at the central bank, which has offices in 26 cities across India, numbered 21,494 at the end of 2007, the RBI said in its annual report.

The Reserve Bank has also stated that the strike is likely to cause some disruption of normal work of the Reserve Bank on that day, including the payment and settlement system. While it will endeavor to maintain normal services, the Reserve Bank has advised members of public to complete their transactions, if any, with the it on October 20, 2008 itself.

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