Bank Employees

After ‘Successful’ Strike in May, Bank Staff Threaten to Intensify Stir in July, August

Opposing the ‘meagre’ two per cent salary hike, the United Forum of Bank Unions on Tuesday threatened to intensify their stir in the coming months of July and August, PTI quoted officials as saying.

On May 30 and 31, over 10 lakh bank employees had observed a strike affecting banking operations across the nation worth around Rs 43,400 crore.

The United Federation of Bank Unions, the umbrella organisation of nine bank unions, held a meeting in Chennai on Tuesday and congratulated the staff for observing the two-day strike, general secretary of the federation CH Venkatachalam said.

“It has been decided to further continue the struggle with more strikes. Having regard to the need for an amicable solution, it was decided to meet the higher authorities in the government and the banks”, he told PTI.

“However, if no solution is forthcoming in these meetings, the United Forum of Bank Unions will proceed and announce more agitations”, he said.

Meanwhile, a report from Tirupathi quoted senior vice-president of the National Confederation of Bank Employees, VVSR Sarma as saying that the bank staff would intensify the stir in a phased manner in July and August to press for their demands.

“Prior to intensifying our agitation, United Forum of Bank Unions decided to submit a memorandum on the wage hike issue and other banking developmental issues to finance minister Arun Jaitley by this month-end,” he said.

Banking operations were severely hit across the country by the bank strike on May 30 and 31. The unions had squarely blamed the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) for forcing them to resort to the strike.

In the northeastern states, banking operations were affected severely as most branches of major banks remained closed and most of the ATMs ran out of cash. Leaders of the striking employees claimed that the response of the bank strike was tremendous in all northeastern states.

On May 5, the IBA made an offer to hike the wages by two per cent, quoting poor financial condition of the banks as a reason. This offer was not acceptable to the unions. According to Franco and Venkatachalam, the IBA began the wage talks with five per cent hike during the last settlement.

(With PTI inputs)

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