Trade Union strike: Banking, transport sector hit in Gujarat

The strike call by Central trade unions hit normal life in Gujarat today as workers from varied sectors, including transport and banking, refrained from work, to register protest against government's economic and labour policies.Banking services in Gujarat were crippled as over 12,000 officers and 35,000 other banking employees joined the nation wide strike call given by the United Forum for Bank Union (UFBU), impacting financial transactions of Rs 30,000 crore. "All clearing house operations remained closed disrupting financial transactions (cheque clearance) to the tune of over Rs 30,000 crore across the state," General Secretary State Bank of India OfficerAssociation (SBIOA) Ahmedabad Shankar Patel said. SBI has over 1,100 branches across Gujarat, while 21 other nationalised banks are estimated to have 2,000 odd branches, he said, adding that nearly 12,000 bank officers and 35,000 other banking employees were on strike in Gujarat. Patel claimed that a few private and co-operative sectors banks had also joined the two-day strike call. The banks employees took out a rally at Lal Darwaja and staged demonstration to register their protest. However, the ATMs were operating as usual, he said. "Employees of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) joined the strike call for 24 hours from yesterday night, as a result trips of around 8,000 buses have stopped in the state," said GSRTC secretary P D Patel. Also, around 4,500 employees of LIC across the state have joined hands with the striking workers of banking and other

public sector industry, said S I Bhatt, General Secretary LIC

employees Union, Gujarat Division. Many of them are sitting on a dharna at Lal Darwaja locality here, he claimed.

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