SBI strike to delay babus March pay

Kolkata, March 30 | Updated: Mar 31 2006, 05:30am hrs
The new fiscal is set to begin on a sour note for millions of bank customers and Central government employees in particular, with the two major unions of the State Bank of India announcing an indefinite countrywide strike from Monday, April 3.

March is the only month of the year when Central government employees do not get their salaries in the same month, but have to wait for the first week of April. With April 1 being a Saturday, a closed holiday for the Central government and also the yearly bank closing, the earliest working day is April 3.

SBI sources said the banks treasury branches here would be kept open for government transactions on Saturday as a special case. However, central government departments like customs and excise cannot encash their payroll draft before April 3, so employees are unlikely to get paid.

On Thursday, the All India State Bank of India Staff Federation and the All India State Bank of Indias Officer Federation said they would jointly go on an indefinite strike from April 3.

The two unions want a revision of pension to 50% of the last drawn basic salary without any limit as at present, and suitable revision of family pension.

According to Ashok Datta, general secretary of the SBI Staff Associations Bengal Circle, the management has agreed with their viewpoint but the government has failed to take any steps.