The Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has urged bank unions to stop holding strikes as a means to protest as such behavior was unacceptable in a significant industry like the banking industry.
It should be noted that Chidambaram's advice comes at a time when more than five lakh bank employees, including officer level executives, are on a strike. This has resulted in a virtual breakdown of banking operations in various parts of the country.
There is a large chunk of public sector bank employees, under the leadership of four bank unions who are staging a strike to protest changes in the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill 2011. Then, the members of Tamil Nadu Primary Cooperative Bank Employees' Association have also threatened to go on an indefinite strike from January 7, if their demands are not met. Earlier, Co-operative bank employees of West Bengal region staged a sit-in demanding the authorities to reorganize co-operative credit structure.
Reportedly, the employees of State Bank of India Group did not take part in the protest. On the other hand, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) called the strike a complete success. But, refuting these claims, the Finance Minister pointed out that banks were operational during normal working hours and that about 46 percent bank employees were reported to be present during their official timings.