Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The two-day nationwide bankers’ strike began on Thursday with over 7,000 public-sector banks across Madhya Pradesh shut and the 40,000 bankers taking to streets to protest against privatisation of banks in the country.
About 5,000 bankers in the capital city assembled in front of the zonal office of UCO bank at 11 am and staged a protest against the government’s policy of privatisation of the public-sector banks.
The convener of the united forum of bankers’ union, Sanjeev Sablok, said, “The banks were shut on Thursday and will be the same on Friday as well. No staff or officials of any public-sector bank will be working for these two days.”
“If the government doesn’t take cognizance of their concerns and stop privatisation immediately, they will stage an indefinite strike and the banks will be shut for as long as the government does not agree to their terms,” he added.
The bankers raised slogans against the government and staged the protest for more than one and a half hours.
Coordinator VK Sharma said, “Privatisation policy of the government is not only regressive but also against the interest of the general public. These banks have more than Rs 157 lakh crore deposited in them that belongs to the common people who toil day and night to earn it. All that money will be in danger if banks are privatized as any bank can declare bankruptcy any day.”
“The private banks only aim to earn profits. They have no concern for the people,” he added.
The bankers had made sure that the customers did not have to face much trouble due to their strike. They had filled up all the ATMs on Wednesday. Sharma said people would not face cash shortage on the first day of the strike, though they may be troubled a little on day two.
The banks will open on Saturday, but most of the work would begin from Monday, he added.
Sharma said, “The 7000 branches of the public-sector banks in MP have a business of Rs 8,70,000 crore, which would be affected on both the days.”
The members of All India insurance employees’ union extended support to the bankers’ strike on Thursday as they staged a protest outside their offices at lunch break, the Bhopal divisional general secretary of the body Mukesh Bhadoriya told Free Press. The officials of central regional LIC office in Bhopal, all nine offices in the capital city and in Sehore, Raisen, Vidisha, Ganjbasoda, Hoshangabad, Itarsi, Harda, Pipariya, Bareilly, Biaora, Shajapur, Shujalpur, Betul and Pathkheda sat on a unity protest against the government’s proposed privatization of public-sector banks. They will stage a protest on Friday as well, added Bhadoriya.
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