Two-Day Bank Strike Leaves 80 Lakh Cheques Uncleared

Around 10 lakh employees bank employees were on a two-day strike, since May 30.

Two-Day Bank Strike Leaves 80 Lakh Cheques Uncleared

It would take another week to clear these pending cheques, bank union conveners say.

Mumbai: The two-day nation-wide bank strike ended today with nearly 80 lakh cheques in various public sector, old generation private sector, foreign and regional rural banks remaining uncleared, bank unions claimed.

Around 10 lakh employees of 21 public sector banks, 13 old generation private sector banks, 6 foreign banks and 56 regional rural banks were on a two-day strike, since May 30, to protest a meagre two percent pay hike proposed to them by Indian Banks Association (IBA).

In Maharashtra alone, 60,000 employees and officers from around 12,000 branches were on strike.

"The protest was mainly for adequate wage revision. It was completely successful. Close to 80 lakh cheques were not cleared in these two days," United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) Convenor (Maharashtra) Devidas Tuljapurkar said.

It would take another week to clear these pending cheques, he added.

Industry Body Assocham pegged that the two-day strike might impact Rs 20,000 crore worth of customer transactions.

IBA in its recent wage revision meeting held on May 5, offered a nominal salary revision of two percent to bank employees and officers.

The wage revision was due since November 1, 2017. Bank managements justified the action with the huge losses incurred by these lenders in the past few quarters, bank unions said.

Mr Tuljapurkar said huge losses were on account of higher provisioning made by lenders towards nonperforming assets.

"Bank employees are not responsible for the fall in profits," he added.

Bank employees have tirelessly worked towards implementation of various government schemes such as Jan-Dhan, demonetisation, Mudra and Atal Pension Yojana, among others, he added.

In the last wage settlement, which was applicable for the period November 1, 2012 to October 31, 2017, IBA had given a wage hike of 15 percent to bank employees.

In the current wage negotiation meeting, IBA also maintained that the negotiations on officers' demand would be restricted up to scale III officers only.

UFBU is an umbrella body of nine unions, including All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers.