Bhubaneswar, Feb 10:
Banking services across the state have been paralysed since 6 AM this morning as staff of both public and private sector banks including gramya banks went on a nation wide two-day strike protesting the proposed banking sector reforms like privatization of public sector banks, issuing licenses to new banks in the private sector and demanding immediate revision in wages.
Over a million bank employees and officers working in 27 public sector banks, including the State Bank of India, and 12 private and eight foreign banks, are taking part in the two-day nationwide strike.
All the nine unions-five employee unions and four officer unions of public sector banks have united under the umbrella organization, United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), which has given the strike call.
In Bhubaneswar, bank employees were seen picketing in front of their respective bank branches protesting the Indian Banks Association (IBA) and the UPA government at the Centre for its faulty banking policies.
Automated Teller Machine (ATM) services are also likely to be affected during the two day strike, said sources in the banking industry.
The UFBU had earlier called for a two-day strike on January 20-21, which was deferred after the IBA increased its initial offer to 9.5 percent, from 5 percent, with a promise to improve it further.
The UFBU however, rejected the IBA offer of just 0.5 percent increase to 10 percent. It has been seeking an increase of 30 percent on the grounds that wage revision is pending since November 2012.