National Bank Strike Holds Up Rs 23,000 Crore Worth of Cheques

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Suspension of services at public sector banks impacted Rs 23,000 crore worth of cheques as employee unions went on a two-day nationwide strike on Friday, 31 January, to press for wage revision.

The banks would be closed for three days including Sunday. They will open Monday, 3 February. Private sector lenders like ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank will be operational.

““In the clearing grids in Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi,  about 31 lakh cheques worth about Rs 23,000 crore could not be cleared due to the strike. Most of the bank branches remained closed. Cash could not be deposited or withdrawn”” – CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA

The strike coincides with the beginning of the Budget session of parliament and presentation of Union Budget 2020-21.

The strike call has been given by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions, including All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW).

Many banks, including State Bank of India (SBI), had informed customers in advance that operations may be impacted to some extent due to the strike. Cash deposit, withdrawal, cheque clearances, instrument issuance and loan disbursement were affected.

Unions claimed that about 10 lakh staff and officers of public sector banks and some private sector banks are participating in strike.

Branches of public sector banks were closed in many parts of country, as per initial reports.

In the past wage settlement, which was for the period 1 November 2012, to 31 October 2017, employees got a hike of 15 percent.

During discussions, the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) on Thursday improved their offer to 13.5 percent, but this was not acceptable, the unions said.

However, IBA in a statement said despite the revised offer of up to 19 percent hike, including performance linked incentive, made by it during the meeting on Thursday, the unions decided to go ahead with the all-India bank strike.

A section of bank employees had gone on a day-long strike on 8 January in support of 10 major trade unions’ protest call against the government’s “anti-people” policies.

Members of bank employees unions stage a protest during a two-day nationwide strike to press for wage revision, in Chennai on Friday 31 January.

Operations at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), however, were not affected by the strike, he said.

Das said the IBA had offered a 13.5 percent wage hike as against 20 percent demanded by the UFBU.

He also said that the association has rejected the bankers’ demand for five-day work week.

Even though discussions are going on for the past 30 months, the bank managements and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) did not come forward to settle the demands with a reasonable increase in salary looking to inflation and heavy workload on the employees.

“In the conciliation meeting held by Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC) in Delhi on 27 January, attempts were made to reconcile but the discussions did not result in any conclusion. Hence, the CLC advised the IBA to hold direct bilateral talks with the Unions before the strike and try for a solution,” Venkatachalam said.

““If the IBA does not pay heed to our demands, we will call for another strike.”” – Sanjay Das, General Secretary West Bengal Unit, AIBOC

“Today’s talks with Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) failed on demand from unions, so strike call stands,” Venkatachalam said.

However, the IBA in a statement said despite the revised offer of up to 19 percent hike including performance linked incentive made by it during the meeting on Thursday, the unions, unfortunately, decided to go ahead with the all-India bank strike.

Bank employees hold a demonstration during a two-day nationwide bank strike to press for wage revision, in Patna on Friday 31 January.

“During discussions, the conditions of business, paying capacity of banks and consistent efforts by banks at providing various types of benefits to the employees from time to time were explained but all Unions are pressing for some other demands which are not possible to accept,” it said.

Economic Times.” data-reactid=”90″>IBA has explained that the performance-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, which is proposed over and above the basic pay hike, would work out to be a minimum 2.74% additional pay out over the base salary bill of Rs 52,625 crore, reports the Economic Times.

“A meeting of UFBU held at Mumbai on 13 January came to the unanimous conclusion that intensified agitational actions have to be taken to press our demands,”said Ashwini Rana, NOBW Vice President.

During the recent period, prices have gone up steeply and the workload on the banking workforce has also gone up enormously, UFBU said, adding that bank staffers expect a fair and reasonable hike in wages in the current settlement.

Unions are demanding 20 percent hike on pay slip components with adequate loading.

In the past wage settlement, which was for the period 1 November 2012, to 31 October 2017, the employees got a hike of 15 percent.

A section of bank employees had gone on a day-long strike on January 8 in support of 10 major trade unions’ protest call against the government’s “anti-people” policies.

Banking operations in public sector banks come to a standstill in Telangana on Friday as over 60,000 employees including officers participated in the two-day strike call given by unions pressing wage revision, among other demands.

“Barring some private banks, employees of all banks in Telangana including Regional Rural Banks, cooperative banks and old generation private banks participated in the strike.

This will continue tomorrow (1 February) also,” All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) national secretary BS Rambabu told PTI.

Economic Times)” data-reactid=”102″>(With inputs from PTI, IANS and Economic Times)

India by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsNational Bank Strike Holds Up Rs 23,000 Crore Worth of Cheques  . Read more on India by The Quint.” data-reactid=”103″>. Read more on India by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsNational Bank Strike Holds Up Rs 23,000 Crore Worth of Cheques  . Read more on India by The Quint.



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