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Bank services impacted as over a million employees go on 2-day strike; salary withdrawals to be affected

New Delhi: Banking activities in public sector banks across the country have been interrupted as employees go on two-day nation-wide strike against the meagre two percent salary hike offered by the management - Indian Banks Association.

However, operations in the new-generation private banks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank were almost normal, barring few activities including cheque clearance.

Around one million bank employees have gone on strike. The two-day nation-wide strike will end on Friday, 1 June at 6 AM.

Salary withdrawals 

Since the strike coincides with the month-end, salary withdrawals from branches are likely to get affected. Some ATMs may also take a hit.

Besides, deposit in branches, FD renewal, government treasury operation, money market operation would see the impact of the strike.

As several rounds of talks between banks and the unions of their employees did not make any headway, the United Forum of Banking Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions, has gone on strike against the proposed wage hike of 2 percent as against 15 per cent given last time, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), general secretary C H Venkatachalam said.

The UBFU has nine bank unions -- All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC),  National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE),  All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees' Federation (INBEF),  Indian National Bank Officers' Congress (INBOC), National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).

 Bank services impacted as over a million employees go on 2-day strike; salary withdrawals to be affected

Representational image. Reuters

It is kind of an insult to the employees of public sector banks...to be offered this kind of meagre hike. We had no other option but to go on strike, forgoing two days' salary, All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) joint general secretary Ravinder Gupta said.

Success of all government schemes like Mudra, Jan Dhan and demonetisation were ensured by public sector bankers but the reward is just two percent hike, he said, adding, it is gross injustice to bankers who have worked very hard for nation building.

Nearly 10 lakh employees are participating in the nation-wide strike as part of our democratic right by forgoing our salary, Venkatachalam said, hoping that good sense prevails.

There are about 85,000 branches of 21 public sector banks across the country having business share of about 70 percent.

Most of the banks, including SBI, PNB and BoB, have already informed their customers about functioning of branches and offices due to strike.

Banking services in Maharashtra hit hard

Banking services in Maharashtra is crippled as nearly 60,000 employees of various banks took part in the nationwide strike from today, PTI reported

Nearly 10 lakh employees working in various branches of 21 public sector banks, 13 old generation private sector banks, six foreign banks and 56 regional rural banks across the country went on the strike as the banking lobby, Indian Banks Association (IBA), offered them a nominal wage revision.

"Bank employees are on strike to demand an adequate wage revision to all employees and officers," United Forum of Bank Unions convenor (Maharashtra) Devidas Tuljapurkar said.

Around 60,000 bank employees and officers in Maharashtra, including 25,000 bank employees and officers in Mumbai, are on strike, he claimed, adding that nearly 12,000 bank branches in the state are shut.

"Bank employees have implemented government's flagship programmes, such as Jan Dhan Yojna, demonetisation, Mudra scheme, Atal Pension Yojana, in the last few years. Our workload has increased substantially and we need an appropriate compensation for it," Tuljapurkar said.

The protesting bank employees and officers also organised a rally in the Fort area of south Mumbai.

 

Bank profits used for clearing bad loans

The governed expressed its inability to pay more to the employees saying banks had not earned enough profits. But the fact remains that year after year banks have been earning more operating profits, said Venkatachalam.

For instance, in fiscal 2015-16, the banks earned a total operating profit of Rs 1.37 lakh crore, but banks set aside Rs 1.55 lakh crore towards bad loans thus wiping-off profits. Hence, there was a net loss of Rs 18,000 crore. Similarly in fiscal 2016-17, banks earned a total operating profit of Rs 1.59 lakh crore but the provision for bad loans was Rs 1.7 lakh crore, resulting in a net loss of Rs 7,000 crore.

Taking the last 10 years, from 2008-17 into account, banks have earned a total operating profit of Rs 9.2 lakh crore out of which Rs 6.6 lakh crore has been wiped off, for bad loans, Venkatachalam said, adding, penalising employees and officers with lower wages on account of bad loans is unfair.

With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: May 30, 2018 12:17:03 IST