Bangalore, Apr 4: The indefinite strike by the officers and employees of the State Bank of India in response to a nationwide strike call entered the second today, crippling banking operations across Karnataka.
The bank's branches and regional head office at St Marks Road wore a deserted look as hundreds of employees staged a dharna in support of their long-pending demands, including pension issues.
In a joint statement here, All India State Bank Officers' Federation General Secretary Shantha Raju and All India State Bank of India Staff Federation Secretary P K Patnaik termed the agitation as a phenomenal success. The leaders of the two Federations have decided to participate in the conciliatory proceedings, convened by the Labour Commissioner at Delhi on April five, with an open mind, they said.
Stating that the SBI workforce had not struck work on frivolous grounds, they claimed that the strike had been forced upon them by the ''apathy, indifference and casual approach'' of the SBI management, RBI and Banking Department for the last 15 years.
According to a Mysore report, over 200 employees and officers staged a dharna a little away from the SBI main office as the Delhi High Court had restrained employees from staging demonstrations within the bank premises. The strike was total in the city, union leaders said.