Nationwide strike hits Indian banking
New Delhi: Nearly a million workers in India staged a 24-hour strike to demand improved rights for employees and to protest against rising prices.
The strike, one of the biggest in recent times, was backed by 11 major trade unions. In New Delhi and Mumbai, the effect of the strike was minimal. Banks and insurance offices were closed but buses and taxis plied the streets.
State-owned banks were mostly closed across the country as retail banking operations were the worst affected, with many officials absent.
All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam claimed the strike was "a complete success as clearing houses remained totally paralysed" with unions of the Reserve Bank and State Bank of India participating in the strike.
However, leading private sector lenders such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank and foreign banks functioned as usual as their staff did not participate in the strike. Flights were not affected much with many of the airlines operating according to schedule. Airport operations too progressed unhindered, said officials.
Other sectors like mining, manufacturing and insurance were also hit by the strike. The strike was almost total in Kerala and hit life across Karnataka.
Normal life was also hit in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Tripura and Odisha.