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State Bank of India's 200,000 Employees on Strike


More than 200,000 employees of India's largest public sector bank, State Bank of India, have gone on an indefinite strike, demanding better pensions.

The employee unions are seeking a hike in the standard pension rate, which has remained at around $96 (4,250 rupees) a month for the past decade.

Now, the unions are demanding that the pension should be 50 percent of the last salary drawn, the way other Indian banks calculate pensions for their employees.

Union officials say the strike has affected the bank's 9,000 branches across the country.

The 100-year-old bank faces tough competition with new Indian and multinational banks setting up shop since economic reforms began in 1991.

Union officials say the bank's 52 overseas offices in 34 countries are not affected by the strike.

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