File photo of a bank in Chennai wearing a deserted look during a strike by employees on January 8, 2019.
File photo of a bank in Chennai wearing a deserted look during a strike by employees on January 8, 2019. IANS

Banking operations likely to be hit by strike by employees on Jan 31-Feb 1

New Delhi, January 30, 2020

A bulk of banking operations is likely to be affected across the country when about 10 lakh bank employees in public sector and private sector banks go on a two-day strike on January 31 and February 1 to press their demand for wage revision.

The Indian Banks Association (IBA) Negotiating Committee and the United Forum of Bank Unions have held multiple rounds of discussions on the issue of wage revision of bank employees.

"In the meeting held on 30th January 2020, despite the revised offer of upto 19% hike including performance-linked incentive made from IBA side, the Unions have unfortunately decided to go ahead with an all-India Bank strike on 31st January & 1st February 2020, to be followed by other agitational programmes," a press release from IBA said.

"During discussions, the conditions of business, paying capacity of banks and consistent efforts by banks at providing various types of benefits to the employees from time to time were explained but all unions are pressing for some other demands which are not possible to accept. One such demand is for 5-day banking. It is known to all that the economy of the country is going through testing times. Banks being the principal players in economic development, cannot afford to provide lesser number of working days for banking activities. Our country already has one of the highest number of public holidays than any other country and adding 26 more holidays would create more problems for the public," the release said.

"For the convenience of the customers, Banks will keep alternative channels available and customers can utilise these alternate/digital channels of banking 24x7 for day to day banking.

"We regret the inconvenience caused to customers and general public," it added.

IANS adds:

Interestingly, the bankers have called strike on the day when the Economic Survey will be presented on January 31 and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be presenting her second budget on February 1.

"The talks with Indian Banks' Association has failed. So the two day strike on January 31 and February 1 stands," C. H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) told IANS.

According to him, a majority of the 80,000 bank branches will remain closed on the two days.

The strike will be spearheaded by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions in the banking sector.

The UFBU had earlier announced that after the January 31-February 1 strike, there will be a three-day strike, starting March 11, and an indefinite strike from April 1 to highlight their demands.


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