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|February 25, 1999||
Bank strike affects forex, money markets; leaders urge Sinha to broker deal
Banking activities remained paralysed throughout the country on the first day of two-day strike of the public sector banks today, following the failure of the day-long negotiations between the bank unions here yesterday.
The strike hit the trading at the interbank foreign exchange market, where hardly any transaction was reported throughout the day in the absense of four major banks, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank and State Bank of India, dealers said.
The money market also witnessed dull activity in absence of market participants.
Meanwhile, thousands of bank employees gathered in Flora Fountain area in South Bombay and took out a mammoth procession towards Azad Maidan where a rally was held.
Bank union leaders criticised the rigid attitude of the IBA which forced them to go on strike.
They ridiculed the misleading propaganda of IBA to the proposed wage revision. They said blame for the poor shape of the banking industry has to be laid at the doorstep of the IBA/top management of banks, government and the Reserve Bank of India. They failed in initiating expeditious measures like legal reforms and activating of debt recovery tribunals, they said.
The trade unionists warned the IBA and government of the serious consequences, like an indefinite strike from March 17 onwards, if the demands for wage revision are not accepted.
The Maharashtra State Bank Employees Federation in their statement claimed that more than 80,000 bank employees and officers, working in public sector, private sector both Indian and foreign banks in the state joined the strike today.
The All-India Bank Employees Association and the All India Bank Officiers' Association urged the finance minister to bring about a negotiated settlement.
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