Banking activities in public sector banks across India have been interrupted as employees go on two-day nation-wide strike against the meagre 2 per cent salary hike offered by the management – Indian Banks Association.
However, operations in the new-generation private banks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank were almost normal, barring few activities including cheque clearance. Since the strike coincides with the month-end, salary withdrawals from branches are likely to get affected. Some ATMs may also take a hit
Besides, deposit in branches, FD renewal, government treasury operation, money market operation would see the impact of the strike. As several rounds of talks between banks and the unions of their employees did not make any headway, the United Forum of Banking Unions (UFBU) — an umbrella body of nine bank unions — has gone on strike against the proposed wage hike of 2 per cent as against 15 per cent given last time, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), general secretary C H Venkatachalam said.
“It is kind of an insult to the employees of public sector banks… to be offered this kind of meagre hike. We had no other option but to go on strike, forgoing two days’ salary,” All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) joint general secretary Ravinder Gupta said.
Success of all government schemes like Mudra, Jan Dhan and demonetisation were ensured by public sector bankers, but the reward is just two per cent hike, he said, adding that it was gross injustice to bankers who have worked very hard for nation building.
“Nearly 10 lakh employees are participating in the nation-wide strike as part of our democratic right by forgoing our salary,” Venkatachalam said, hoping that good sense prevails. There are about 85,000 branches of 21 public sector banks across the country having business share of about 70 per cent
Most of the banks, including State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Bank of Baroda (BoB), have already informed their customers about non-functioning of their branches and offices due to strike.
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