State-Owned Bank Employees On Strike Today: 10 Things To Know

State-Owned Bank Employees On Strike Today: 10 Things To Know

Bank strike today: This is the second bank strike in less than a week.Branches of state-owned banks are shut on Wednesday on account of a nation-wide strike called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) against the proposed amalgamation of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda. However, private sector banks, whose employees are not part of the UFBU, continue to function as usual. The UFBU, which is an umbrella body of nine bank unions, claims to have nearly 10 lakh bank employees and officers across public sector banks as members.Here are 10 things to know about bank’s strike:

  1. According to Ashwani Ranan, vice president, National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW), the UFBU served a strike notice to the Indian Bank Association (IBA) and the MDs of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank on merger of the three state-run banks.
  2. “Since there was no assurance by the IBA on stopping the merger of these three banks and fresh offer on wage revision, the UFBU decided to go ahead with the strike on December 26,” news agency Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) quoted him as saying in a report.
  3. The unions claim that the government wants banks to grow in size by such mergers but even if all public sector banks are bundled into one, the merged entity will not find a place among the top 10 globally.
  4. The government had in September proposed the merger of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank — the first three-way merger in the country’s public sector banking space.
  5. The unions are also demanding a hike of 25 per cent, increment for all bank employees under scale 1 to 7 (instead of the IBA’s offer to only those employees in junior scale of 1 to 3) and rejection of the proposal to introduce variable pay.
  6. Though wage revision in state-run banks happens every five years, it may be difficult for them to raise wages substantially as high non-performing assets (NPAs) – or bad loans – and losses have hurt the sector.
  7. “Bank employees wage revision is due since November 1, 2017. So far the IBA has offered 8 per cent wage hike which is not acceptable to the United Forum of Bank Unions,” said Mr Ranan of NOBW.
  8. This is the second bank strike in less than a week. Last Friday (December 21), an officers’ union of state-run banks, All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), observed a day-long strike to protest against the merger and also demanded immediate settlement of wage negotiations.
  9. Banks were also shut on December 22 and 23 (Saturday and Sunday), and December 25 for Christmas.
  10. Besides Sundays, banks at present observe public holidays on the second and fourth Saturdays each month since September 2015. (With inputs from agencies)