An employee serves a customer inside a branch of a Gramin Bank in the village of Khurana, Uttar Pradesh, India (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Banking Services May Be Hit By Two-Day Union Strike From Tomorrow

Banking services are likely to be impacted for the next couple of days as employees of public sector banks have announced a two-day nationwide strike from tomorrow demanding a wage revision.

As the meeting called by the Chief Labour Commissioner for a reconciliation failed on wage revision, all the nine constituents of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) have decided to continue with strike call, All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), an affiliate of UFBU, said in a statement.

The UFBU leaders conveyed their grievance, including that there is inordinate delay, an offer of 2 percent was not in good taste and the practice of wage negotiation for officers up to Scale VII – which has been the practice – has to continue, AIBOC General Secretary DT Franco said.

On May 5, IBA had offered a two percent hike which was rejected by unions calling it unjust. “The CLC supported the issues and asked IBA to respond positively. The IBA representative said that they will consider revised offer but requested the UFBU to quantify the demand,” All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) general secretary C H Venkatachalam said.

UFBU leaders quoted figures to prove how operating profit has doubled, staff expenses have reduced, business has more than doubled. CLC said that Officers and employees have to be paid for hard work and not based on profit. IBA was not ready to come out with a new offer but assured to continue the negotiations
CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA

Most of the banks, including State Bank of India Ltd., Punjab National Bank Ltd. and Bank of Baroda Ltd., have already informed customers that functioning of branches and offices will be impacted if the strike takes off. Private banks like ICICI Bank Ltd., HDFC Bank Ltd., Axis Bank Ltd. and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. are expected to function normally except for delays in cheque clearance.

Withdrawal and cash deposit in the branches of public sector banks would be affected.

Ten lakh bank employees and officers of the 21 public sector banks, old-generation private banks and foreign banks will join the two day strike, according to National Organisation of Bank Worker's (NOBW) vice president Ashwini Rana.

There are as many as 21 public sector banks which control 75 percent of the total business in the country.