Mumbai: Over 10,000 branches of various banks in Maharashtra wore a near-deserted look as more than 50,000 employees joined the two-day long all-India strike, starting from Saturday, called by various industry unions and associations.
The action in Maharashtra was led by the United Forum of Banks Union (UFBU) and the protestors demanded withdrawal of the banking law amendment Bill, which the Centre plans to move in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.
UFBU Convenor Devidas Tuljapurkar said that the proposed bill, if passed, will pave the way for privatisation of two public sector banks by the end of the current financial year.
Striking work, bank employees assembled outside their offices in protest and later joined a rally at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai organised by the UFBU where prominent leaders addressed the gathering seeking acceptance of their demands.
The speakers included UFBU leaders like Nitesh Pawer, Yogesh Shikha, Devidas Menon, Jagdish Shringapure, Nandkumar Chavan, G. M. Nayak, Ishwar Puthran and trade unionists like Lalit Suvarna, Avinash Daud, Milind Ranade, Vivek Monteiro, Bhai Jagtap and Mathew Gorje, said Tuljapurkar.
They appealed to the employees to remain vigilant against the privatisation of banks and threatened to further intensify the agitation with all trade unions in the country joining the cause of the bank employees.
The UFBU Convenor added that on Friday, hundreds of bankers will form a ‘human chain’ at Horniman Circle – the banking district in south Mumbai – as a mark of protest on the second day of the nationwide strike.