Mumbai: Citizens could face a harrowing time over the next two days as over a million bank employees in various state-run banks across the country are set to go on a strike from Wednesday to protest a nominal two per cent wage hike offered by the Indian Banks' Association (IBA). Workers at State Bank of India' branch main branch in Mumbai's Fort area will hold a demonstartion on Tuesday as well.
In the wage negotiation meeting held on May 5, IBA made a propositions to offer two per cent hike in the wage bill cost as on March 31, 2017. It also maintained that the negotiations on officers demands would be restricted up to scale III officers only.
D T Franco, general secretary, All India Bank Officers’ Confederation said about one million bank officers are expected to participate in the strike on May 30 and May 31.
"It is only because of provisions towards NPA that banks have booked losses, and for this, bank employees are not responsible," United Forum of Bank Unions' convener Devidas Tuljapurkar told reporters.
He said in the last two-three years, bank employees have worked tirelessly for implementation of government initiatives such as Jan-Dhan, demonetisation, Mudra and Atal Pension Yojana, among others. "This has resulted into huge increase in their workloads," he said.
In the last wage settlement, which was for the period November 1, 2012 to October 31, 2017, IBA had give a wage hike of 15 per cent.
The two-day nationwide strike, commencing on Wednesday, has been called by UFBU which is an umbrella body of nine unions, including All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW).
“The volume of business and the volume of work of the employees and officers have gone up enormously in the recent years… In addition, bank employees and officers are compelled to undertake so much of non-banking business and all the burden of doing various government schemes have fallen on the shoulders of the bank staff,” the strike notice issued by UFBU said.