New Delhi | Public sector bank employees today began rotational strike to press for wage hike with staffs of southern region going on a day-long strike. Subsequently, there would be strike on December 3 in northern zone, followed by eastern zone on December 4. Finally on December 5, employees of PSU banks in the western region would go on strike, United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) Convener M V Murali sad.
Since the concilliation meeting with Indian Banks’ Association failed to reach a conclusion, it has been decided to go on strike between December 2-5, he said. The UFBU is the umbrella organisation of employees and officer unions of nine banks. Some of the banks have already informed their customers about the inconvenience due to the strike. All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C H Venkatachalam claimed that about 22,000 branches of PSU banks are closed across six states and one union territory.
This is the second strike by bank employees in less than 30 days. The last strike was on November 12. We have scaled down our demand from 25 per cent to 23 per cent (wage hike), but IBA is not yielding. It has been sticking to its earlier offer of 11 per cent which is not enough, Ashwini Rana, General Secretary of National Organisation of Bank Workers, said.
We hope IBA and government would initiate positive steps to resolve the issues without further aggravation. In the event our issues still remain unresolved we may be forced to resort to more strike actions, including indefinite strike in the days to come, he added.
United Forum of Bank Unions’ Kerala convener C D Josson said the strike is ‘total’ and 5,600 bank branches in the state are not functioning. He said 46,000 employees and officers of various banks, including those in public and private sector, struck work in support of the strike call by United Forum of Bank Unions, demanding wage revision. Bank employees and officers of all commercial, foreign and gramin banks, except those in the cooperative sector, are participating in the strike, which is total in the state, he said.
Bank branches, administrative offices, foreign exchange departments and clearing houses are not functioning as part of the strike in southern states. Striking employees took out processions and staged demonstrations in various parts of the state. Rallies were also being taken out, Josson added.