Banking services remained interrupted across the country for the second day on Wednesday with over 10 lakh bank employees going on strike against a proposal for a meagre wage hike of 2 per cent.
“The strike had greater participation today with more employees across the country joining in,” said CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees Association.
Operations at public sector banks are set to become normal on Friday after the two-day strike disrupted over ₹40,000 crore of cheque transactions.
Other services, including fixed deposits, government treasury operations and money market operations, were also impacted.
“The strike was extremely successful in the eastern, southern and north-eastern States. There will be a huge backlog of cheques to be cleared on Friday as services came to a complete halt,” said S Nagarajan, General Secretary, All India Bank Officers Association. The strike coincided with the month-end when salaries are credited. While some organisations are understood to have credited salaries before the strike, others stuck to the schedule and paid wages on Wednesday.
Bankers said that some companies have also decided to delay payments by a day, while in the private sector, salaries are credited on the first day of the month.
Nine bank unions under the umbrella United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) had decided to strike work after talks with the Indian Banks’ Association for wage negotiation failed. The IBA had proposed a wage hike of 2 per cent, which the bank unions termed ‘meagre’.
Bank unions are hoping for further negotiations with the IBA in June.
“Wage revision of bank employees was pending since November 2017, and the unions had submitted a charter of demands in July last year. After the strike, we will decide the future course of action and it may be a long strike, including indefinite strike,” said Ashwini Rana, Vice-President, National Organisation of Bank Workers.
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