Pune: A large number of Puneites had to stand in ATM queues on Wednesday following the two-day strike by public sector banks to protest against a ‘meagre’ 2 per cent salary hike offered by the Indian Banks Association (IBA).
While there was enough cash available in the morning it was slowly running out towards the end of the day, forcing people to look for cash in ATMs of private banks. Many public sector banks were found shut across the city. Santosh Bhong, who works in a private company reached the SBI ATM in Hinjewadi and found two of three ATM machines out of cash.
“The third ATM of the bank had a long queue and I did not have much time so I chose to withdraw cash from another ATM. If cash is not available for more than two days then it would be a problem,” added Bhong.
However, people were more worried about not having access to other services like cheque clearance, loan processing and others.
A press note issued by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) stated that one million bank employees and officers had gone on strike for 48 hours from Wednesday. Since May 2017 UFBU has been pursuing with the IBA for a negotiated settlement on wages but even after one year, IBA does not seem to be serious on wage settlement.
As per United Forum of Bank Unions, in Maharashtra, 12,000 bank branches shutters were down and 60,000 bank employees and officers observed the strike thus total business of Rs 40 lakh crore has come to a grinding halt.
Shrikant Acharya of Aam Aadmi Party, Pune said, “The bank profits are drained by large corporates and now the employees are forced to pay penalty for it. A two per cent rise in salary is too low.”
A citizen, Nilesh Guhe from Baner said, “What wrong has the common man done. It is my money and I have to struggle to get it from the bank which is not fair.”