Two Medals and a Strike

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Aug. 21 – On the same day that India can boast of three Olmpic medals, 600,000 Indian public, rural and cooperative bank employees have gone on strike to protest the consolidation of state-run banks. The nationwide strike spearheaded by the banks unions is opposing the merger of the State Bank of Saurashtra with its parent SBI.

"The government is hurriedly pursuing mergers without addressing our concerns. We will decide on what to do next," C.H. Venkatachalam, convenor of the United Forum of Bank Unions told Reuters.

India has 80 commercial banks, including 29 foreign banks, and nearly 3,000 urban and rural co-operative banks.

The unions behind the strike have said they will take further action if their concerns are not addressed.

Employees of leading lender State Bank of India went on strike on Monday and therefore did not participate on Wednesday, a union leader said.