Nationwide strike: Banking, transport sector hit on day 2

Noida strike

Banking services were today paralysed with ATMs running out of cash in metro cities and public transport disrupted on second day of the two-day Central unions sponsored strike which evoked a mixed response in most states barring Kerala where normal life was hit.

Life remained normal in West Bengal though banking services were crippled with nationalised and private banks closed and ATMs remaining non-functional.

Transport services were normal and shops, markets and business establishments opened in the state.

In the national capital, commuters faced hardships for the second consecutive day as majority of auto-rickshaws and taxis stayed off the road in support of the strike.

Various industrial units and banks either remained closed or witnessed thin attendance while markets and commercial areas were open.

In Maharashtra, majority of ATMs dried up in the financial capital Mumbai.

"A majority of ATMs have dried up while (bank) branches are shut. Additionally, there has not been any cheque clearing as personnel from RBI too joined the strike. It will take at least 2-3 working days to clear the backlog for banks", said All India Bank Employees Association Vice President Vishwas Utagi.

Suburban railway, the city's life line, functioned normally and road traffic remained unaffected.

In Kerala, normal life was paralysed due to the strike with workers from most sectors ranging from transport to banking keeping away from work.

Reports from across the state said buses and taxis were off the roads and markets remained shut. Train and air services were not affected.

Attendance in government offices was thin and educational institutions remained closed as pro-Left service and teachers unions joined the strike. Universities have cancelled examinations scheduled for the last two days.

The unions have put forward a charter of 10 demands such as urgent steps to control price rise, strict enforcement of labour laws in all places of work, social security net for workers in the unorganised sector, end to disinvestment in PSUs and raising minimum wage to Rs 10,000 a month.

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