There are about 85,000 branches of 21 public sector banks across the country having business share of about 70 per cent.
Banking services were disrupted for the second day today with over 10 lakh bank employees abstaining from work to protest a “meagre” 2 per cent salary hike proposed by the Indian Banks Association (IBA), a body representing management. Apart from disruption in operations related to deposits, FD renewals, government treasury and money market operations, there were reports of ATMs running dry in parts of the country. Banking operations are likely to become normal from tomorrow after the 2-day strike which was called by the unions.
The United Forum of Banking Unions (UFBU), which had called the strike, claimed that nearly 80 lakh cheques in various public sector banks, old generation private sector banks, foreign and regional rural banks remain uncleared. UFBU, an umbrella organisation of 9 bank staff unions, also claimed that the strike was a “total success” as the employees “enthusiastically participated in the strike in all banks and in all branches”. According to reports from various states and centres like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Patna, Nagpur, Jammu, Guwahati, Jamshedpur, Lucknow, Agra, Ambala, and Trivandrum, employees have enthusiastically participated in the strike in all banks and branches, unions claimed.
There are about 85,000 branches of 21 public sector banks across the country having business share of about 70 per cent. Operations in the new-generation private banks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, however, were almost normal, barring few activities including cheque clearance. Talking to PTI, Harvinder Singh, General Secretary of India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), said that overall all branches were closed across India. “All old generation private sector banks are also under our fold including those in South India like the Federal Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank, South Indian Bank. Branches of some private sector banks ICICI Bank and HDFC Banks are also our members and participated in the strike,” Singh said.
Another union said the strike remained “fully successful” and almost public sector bank branches remained closed, “paralysing the banking services”. 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 two-day strike yesterday as IBA offered them a nominal wage revision, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), affiliate of UFBU had said in a statement.
In its last wage negotiation meeting held earlier this month, IBA proposed a nominal salary revision to bank employees and officers, owing to huge losses incurred by them in the last few quarters, bank unions said. The lenders are faced with mounting non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans. Wage revision in the banks has been due from November 2017.