Banking services affected as PSU employees go on strike
New Delhi: The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of some nine bank unions in the public sector banking industry (and in some old generation private banks), is on all India strike today demanding wage hike for employees in government banks.
Apart from higher pay, unions are also demanding regulated working hours, five-day a week and filling up of the vacant posts in the banks.
Indian Banks' Association (IBA) claims that about 10 lakh employees, majority of them from 27 public sector banks, will participate in the strike.
However, branches of private sector banks like ICICI and HDFC remained open.
The strike has a direct impact on the normal retail banking operations in state-run banks, including cheque clearances and other normal banking activities, since majority of the employees have allegiance to union activities.
The bank management's lobby is unwilling to offer more than 11 per cent while bank employee unions want at least 25 per cent rise in their wages. According to IBA officials even at 11 per cent, the cost of wage hike would result in an additional burden of an estimated Rs 3,150 crore. The figure will rise to almost Rs 7,000 crore if arrears of pension and other perks are included.
Banks, including the country's largest one SBI, have already informed customers about the inconvenience they are likely to face. "UFBU has given a notice to IBA calling for nationwide bank strike on November 12 and All-India State Bank Officers' Federation and All-India State Bank of India Staff Federation being a part of UFBU will also participate in the said strike," SBI had said in a statement.
"Since the said call is given at all-India level covering all banks, the bank will not be impacted separately," the statement said.
"There will be minimum presence in the treasury department to run the necessary functions," said a dealer at a state-run bank.
"So volumes will be affected in government securities, call and forex."