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Small and medium industries hit by bank strike

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Chennai, March 15 (IANS) The small and medium industries in Tamil Nadu have been affected by the two-day strike called by the banking trade unions leading to the suspension of banking operations.

ATMs across the state have also dried up as banks were not working on Saturday and Sunday owing to holidays and with the two day bank strike commencing on Monday, the money in the ATMs has not been replenished.

Around 60,000 bank employees of 160 branches of government owned banks are on a two-day strike in protest against the privatisation of two more banks by the Central government.

C.H. Venkatachalam of the All India Bank Employees Federation (AIBEF) while speaking to IANS said, “Around 5,150 crore transaction will be affected in two days of bank strike in Chennai alone.”

The majority of the small and medium industries have been hit by the bank strike with these industries relying only on cash transactions. There are around 1500 small and medium industries in Ekkaduthangal in Chennai and the staff of these factories are usually paid in cash.

T.V. Hariharan from Chennai District Small Scale Industries Association, while speaking to IANS said, “The owners of most of these small and medium industries are educated only up to 8th or 10th standard and they have to depend on others for online transactions and hence they are still continuing with cash and cheque transactions.”

These SMEs were not able to pay the weekly wages as the banks were closed from Saturday.

M. Sahasaranamam, owner of Speon factories, a unit at Ambattur industrial estate specializing in proximity sensors, told IANS,” I have more than fifty five workers and have good orders even during the Covid pandemic. However, I am worried as my employees are not able to make their weekly payments owing to the banks closure.”

The bank employees association leaders said that the strike is against the Central government announcing privatization of two more nationalized banks and that if these banks are routinely converted to the private sector, social commitment of these banks will be gone for ever.

Venkatachalam while speaking to IANS said, “The privatization of the nationalized banks will affect the social commitment of these banks and hence we are forced to go on strike. People will understand the necessity of this strike.”

–IANS

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