The strike call has been given by the United Forum of Bank Unions. (Photo Credit: PTI)
The two-day nationwide bank strike, following the failed negotiations over wage revision, called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) will begin from today. Operations of public sector banks are expected to be hit by the strike but private sector lenders like HDFC bank and ICICI Bank would remain operational. Many public sector banks, including State Bank of India (SBI), have informed customers that operations like cash deposit, withdrawal, cheque clearances, instrument issuance and loan disbursement operations would be impacted to some extent due to the strike.
With this strike, banks would be closed for three days consecutive days as it would be Sunday after two-day strike. This could also lead to drying up of ATMs and banks will open only on Monday, February 3.
The strike will coincide with the beginning of the Budget session of parliament and presentation of the Union Budget 2020-21 (on February 1).
The strike call has been given by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions, including All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW).
Earlier this week, a meeting with the Chief Labour Commissioner remained inconclusive, AIBOC President Sunil Kumar said. The wage revision for employees of public sector banks is pending since November 2017.
“Today’s talks with Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) failed on demand from unions, so strike call stands,” AIBEA General Secretary C H Venkatachalam said.
IBA’s rigid approach has left unions with no option than to go on strike, Vekatachalam said, adding, “We appeal to the banking customers to bear with us for this disruption in services due to the strike but the same has been forced on us by the bank managements and IBA.”
During the discussions, the IBA improved their offer to 13.5 per cent but this was not acceptable, the unions said.
However, IBA in a statement said despite the revised offer of up to 19 per cent hike including performance linked incentive made by it during the meeting on Thursday, the unions unfortunately decided to go ahead with the all-India bank strike.
In the past wage settlement, which was for the period November 1, 2012, to October 31, 2017, the employees got a hike of 15 per cent.
A section of bank employees had gone on a day-long strike on January 8 in support of 10 major trade unions’ protest call against the government’s “anti-people” policies.
With PTI Inputs