Banking services are likely to be impacted for the next couple of days as employees of the public sector banks have begun two-day nation-wide strike to press for wage revision. As the meeting called by the Chief Labour Commissioner for a reconciliation failed on wage revision, all the 9 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.
AIBOC general secretary D T Franco said 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.
On the May 5 meeting, IBA offered 2 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," he said.
Most of the banks, including SBI, PNB and BoB, have already informed their customers that functioning of branches and offices will be impacted if the strike takes off.
However, the functioning of private banks like ICICI, HDFC, Axis and Kotak Mahindra is expected to be normal except for delays in cheque clearance.
Withdrawal and cash deposit in the branches of public sector banks would be affected.
According to National Organisation of Bank Worker's (NOBW) vice president Ashwini Rana said 10 lakh bank employees and officers of the 21 public sector banks, old generation private banks and foreign banks will join the 2 days.
"All India State Bank Officers' Federation and All India State Bank of India Staff Federation are members of UFBU. Thus, it is likely that our bank will also be impacted to some extent by the said strike calls," SBI had said in a regulatory filing.
A nationwide strike has been called by various bank-employee organizations on May 30 and May 31, 2018, which might disrupt the normal banking services at branches of our bank, said Ravindra P Marathe, MD of Bank of Maharashtra.
"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.
There are as many as 21 public sector banks control 75 percent of the total business in the country.
First Published: IST