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Banking Services In Maha Hit Hard As 60,000 Employees Go On Strike

Nearly 10 lakh employees, working in various public, private, foreign, regional rural banks across the country went on the strike as the Indian Banks Association (IBA), offered them a nominal wage revision.

Mumbai, May 30

Crippling banking operations, nearly 60,000 sectoral employees in Maharashtra struck work from today, as part of the two-day nationwide strike, to protest against the “meagre” 2 per cent wage hike offered by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), representing management.

The state-run bank branches in the financial capital of Mumbai were either shut or witnessed thin activity.

The employees took out a march from the P M Road in Fort area of south Mumbai, very close to the central bank headquarters which also has a high concentration of bank branches, to the Azad Maidan, the city’s officially designated protest spot.

Employees of all the 21 state-run commercial banks, regional rural banks, 13 old generation private banks and six foreign banks are participating in the protest, unions claimed. Some employees of the private and foreign banks are union members.

Both workers and officers, up to the branch managers level, are participating in the strike.

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 strike as the banking lobby, Indian Banks Association (IBA), offered them a nominal wage revision.

“Bank employees are on strike to demand an adequate wage revision to all employees and officers,” United Forum of Bank Unions convenor (Maharashtra) Devidas Tuljapurkar said.

Around 60,000 bank employees and officers in Maharashtra, including 25,000 bank employees and officers in Mumbai, are on strike, he claimed, adding that nearly 12,000 bank branches in the state are shut.

“Bank employees have implemented government’s flagship programmes, such as Jan Dhan Yojna, demonetisation, Mudra scheme, Atal Pension Yojana, in the last few years. Our workload has increased substantially and we need an appropriate compensation for it,” Tuljapurkar said.

The protesting bank employees and officers also organised a rally in the Fort area of south Mumbai.

Earlier, several rounds of talks between banks and the unions of their employees did not make any headway following which the bank unions decided to go on strike.

In the wage negotiation meeting held on May 5, IBA made a proposition to offer 2 per cent hike in the wage bill cost as on March 31, 2017.

It also maintained that the negotiations on officers demands would be restricted up to scale III officers only.

The United Forum of Banking Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions, has gone on strike against the proposed wage hike of 2 per cent as against 15 per cent given last time, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), general secretary C H Venkatachalam said.

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