Nearly 10 lakh bank employees began a two-day strike on Wednesday to protest against a 2% salary increase offered by the Indian Banks Association, which represents bank managements. Bank unions decided to strike work after conciliatory talks convened by the chief labour commissioner in Delhi on Monday failed, reported The Hindu.
The United Forum of Banking Unions, a collective of nine bank unions, has called for the nationwide strike. It has employees from 21 public, 12 private and seven foreign banks.
Several banks, including the State Bank of India and Bank of India, have informed the stock exchanges that their services are likely to be hit on May 30 and 31.
In Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad, ATMs have run out of cash, ANI reported. Operations in private bank, including ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank, were normal except for a few services such as cheque clearance, The Hindu reported.
The Indian Banks Association had refused to increase wages by more than 2% for junior officers on May 5, citing the poor financial conditions of banks, ANI reported.
“Although the chief labour commissioner tried his best to sort out the strike issue, there was no positive development,” said All India Bank Employees Association General Secretary CH Venkatachalam on Monday. “The strike stands.”
Another reason for the strike is the unions’ claim that the Centre has adopted a casual approach towards wages.
The State Bank of India said the Indian Banks’ Association has communicated to the bank that the United Forum of Banking Unions has served a notice to go on strike. “The All India State Bank Officers’ Federation and All India State Bank of India Staff Federation are members of UFBU,” said the bank in a regulatory filing. “It is likely that our bank will also be impacted to some extent by the strike calls.”