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Indefinite strike called in 9,022 SBI branches

Written by: Staff
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Bhopal, Apr 2 (UNI) More than three lakh officers and other employees in 9,022 State Bank of India (SBI) branches across the country will begin an indefinite strike tomorrow to press for revision of pension rate.

SBI Officers' Federation General Secretary Ravi Bilgaiyan and his Workmen's Union counterpart Pramod Naramdev told reporters here today that employees would stage demonstrations in front of their workplaces. Other bank organisations announced support for the agitation, they claimed.

The strike, the first of its kind in about four decades, would affect clearing of cheques and drafts besides ATM services. Each day, Rs 60,000 crore worth of business would be affected by the agitation called by the All-India State Bank of India Staff Federation. The corresponding figure for Madhya Pradesh and neighbouring Chhattisgarh was Rs 5,500 crore.

Holding the Centre's ''anti-employee mentality and obstinacy'' responsible for the agitation, Mr Naramdev alleged that a Nelson's eye was being turned on their just demands due to the government's anti-labour policies.

Responding to a question, he said, ''Neither the Centre nor the bank management will have to bear any additional fiscal burden if the demand for revised pension is accepted.'' Mr Bilgaiyan pointed out that under bank rules, Rs 20,000 crore were already deposited under the management's revised pension head and this amount had been deducted from employees' salaries.

''The management is ready to make payments from this amount but the Centre is not granting approval,'' he added.

UNI AG-AC PK BD1724

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