Bank strike today: One-day protest hits banking services across India

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New Delhi | Updated: February 28, 2017 11:07:28 AM

After the Federal of Bank of India Officer’s Associations (FBIOA) called for an all-India strike against the Narendra Modi-led government's monetary policy and reforms in the banking industry and labour laws, banks have remained shut...

UFBU is protesting against wage revision, outsourcing of permanent jobs, inadequate recruitment& improvement in pension schemes in banks. (ANI)

After the Federal of Bank of India Officer’s Associations (FBIOA) called for an all-India strike against the Narendra Modi-led government’s monetary policy and reforms in the banking industry and labour laws, banks have remained shut today causing much inconvenience to the public. Sanjoy Das the Vice President of FBIOA in an interview with the media said, “Under United Forum of Bank Unions’ banner we have called for all India bank strike. We are compelled to call the strike. It is against government’s monetary policy and reforms in banking industry & labour law.” Earlier in the week, the United Forum of Bank Unions had threatened to go on strike in order to pressurise the central government for various demands that include the accountability of top executives in view of the escalating bad loans. “The bank strike is not for the interest of the employees alone… the agitation is to protest policies of the central government and to protect the Indian banks from foreign controls,” United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) spokesman Sushobhan Datta Majumder said. The UFBU — the umbrella organisation of nine employees’ unions and four officers’ associations of state-owned banks — had called the strike after its talks with the Indian Banks Association in New Delhi failed.

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The strike has affected the working of all the public sector banks including State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Bank of Baroda. However, the functioning of private banks like ICICI, HDFC, Axis and Kotak Mahindra is expected to be normal except for delays in cheque clearance. Demands of the workers behind the strike include compensation for extra hours of work that was put by the employees ahead of Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move in November, adequate recruitment in all cadres, the initiation of process for the next wage revision of the bank employees, accountability of top executives and recovery of bad loans. The demands also include action against all wilful defaulters.

All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) General Secretary Harvinder Singh in an interview with PTI said, “Strike is on as there has not been serious effort from the bank management especially Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to defer it by accepting some of our demands.”

The financial institution that will not be a part of the strike are National Organisation of Bank Workers and National Organisation of Bank Officers that are affiliated by the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh. UFBU decided to go on a strike after their demands were not met.

“The proposed restructuring in the banking sector was expected to be undertaken aiming at mergers, acquisitions and outsourcing of routine activities of Indian banks and to allow foreign banks and investors in these activities and banking managements,” Majumder told reporters.

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