Banking operations in public sector banks were hit on Wednesday as nearly 10 lakh employees of state-run banks started a two-day strike. Twenty one public sector banks control 75 per cent of the total business in the country. Deposits in branches, fixed deposit renewal, government treasury operation and money market operations were impacted by the strike, news agency Press Trust of India reported. However, banking operations in private banks such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank were almost normal, barring few activities including cheque clearance, according to the agency. The month-end strike comes at a time when many employers process the salaries of staff. Some banks have already warned of the strike impacting their banking operations.
- UFBU has notified 48-hour-long strike starting at 6:00 am on May 30
- SBI has warned that strike could impact operations
- Bank employee unions against 2% wage hike offered by IBA
SBI, the country's largest bank, in a statement to exchanges on May 21 said that the strike is likely to impact operations to some extent. The strike might disrupt the normal banking services at branches of our bank, said Ravindra P Marathe, MD of Bank of Maharashtra.
The digital banking facilities will however remain open. "Hence, we urge our customers to make the maximum use of digital banking services like UPI, MahaMobile app, internet banking facilities for their transactions. We have ensured that our digital banking systems and ATMs (for those who need cash) are available at all times for the convenience of our customers," he added.
Bank employee unions have been opposing a 2 per cent wage hike proposed by the IBA or Indian Banks' Association, among other demands. Several rounds of talks between banks and the unions of their employees have failed to make any headway so far.
Bank union leader Ashok Gupta told NDTV that talks between the group of bank unions and the banks' association failed on Monday. He said the IBA refused to discuss their demands. The official further said that bank unions are not ready to accept a wage hike below 14-15 per cent. The wage revision has been due since November 1, 2017. In the last wage revision in 2012, employees had received a wage rise of 15 per cent, news agency Press Trust of India cited West Bengal convenor of UFBU Siddhartha Khan as saying.
United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) is an umbrella body of bank unions including All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI). (With Agency Inputs)