Public sector bank employees on Friday threatened a nationwide strike on May 30 and May 31 against a 2% salary hike offered by the Indian Banks’ Association, which represents bank managements. The United Forum of Bank Unions said that the association’s representatives had made the offer during negotiations on May 5, and that the revision was not fair or reasonable, PTI reported.

All India Bank Officers’ Confederation Joint General Secretary Ravinder Gupta questioned the rationale for such a low salary increase at a time of rising inflation. The confederation is one of the nine unions that is a member of the forum. “When prices go up unabated, can wages be depressed?” Gupta asked. “Is it fair to deny reasonable wage increase?” The Indian Banks’ Association had provided a 15% wage hike during the last revision, PTI reported.

Ashwani Rana, the president of the National Organisation of Bank Workers, said that the unions had also demanded the inclusion of all scales or grades of officers in the wage revision.

All India Bank Employees Association General Secretary CH Vekatachalam blamed the government for the current impasse. “It is unfortunate that the government wants bank employees and officers to extend all co-operation to implement all its schemes, but when it comes to legitimate demands for a reasonable and fair increase in wages, the government is not paying serious attention,” he alleged.