Over 10 lakh bankers in government and private sectors will go on a two-day strike from Wednesday to protest against the meagre two per cent wage hike proposed by the Indian Banks’ Association. The strike, being spearheaded by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), is likely to impact operations at several bank branches and ATMs. The bank employees decided to go ahead with the strike after a final round of negotiations with the bank association failed to resolve the deadlock on Monday.
The All India Bank Employees Association, a body of over 10 lakh bankers in government and private lenders, demanded early revision of the wages which is due since November 1, 2017. “The strike notice has been served to Indian Banks Association (IBA) representing the bank management and the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), New Delhi,” CH Venkatachalam, general secretary, AIBEA, told IANS. The Indian Banks Association is a management body of the country’s financial institutions.
Several banks, including SBI, Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank, have cautioned that their services and normal banking operations would be impacted by the strike. Those whose accounts are with ICICI, HDFC, Axis, YES Bank and IndusInd will not be impacted by the strike as they have no trade unions and hence won’t participate in the two-day strike. In the last wage settlement, for the period November 2012 to October 2017, IBA had given a wage hike of 15 per cent.
As per the minutes of the meeting on Monday, IBA officials reasoned that the hike in wages had to be limited to 2 per cent as banks were grappling with a rise in non-performing assets. A recent report mentioned that banks’ NPAs have shot up 46.70 per cent to Rs 8,40,868 crore as of March 2018. Six PSU banks made a loss of Rs 6,626 crore in the March quarter.
“Though the CLC tried its best to sort out the strike issues, there is no positive developments. Hence strike on May 30 and 31 (Wednesday and Thursday) stands,” IANS quoted All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) General Secretary DT Franco as saying.