Nationwide bank strike on May 30-31

Nationwide bank strike on May 30-31

A State Bank of India branch at Mysuru is seen with its shutters closed, as part of a bank employees strike last year. DH File Photo

Around 10 lakh bank employees and officers under the banner of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) would go on a two-day strike on May 30-31, on various issues including what it states as the delay by the Indian Banks Association (IBA) in resolving its charter of demands and the government's casual approach to wage revision for bank employees.

The strike would commence at 6.00 am on Wednesday.

The UFBU is an umbrella body of various bank unions like AIBEA, AIBOC, NCBE, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF, INBOC, NOBW and NOBO.

"IBA, during the course of negotiations, referred to weak financial position of the banks, on which unions immediately responded that the banking industry has made record profit of Rs 1,58,982 crore in March 2017. It is only because of provisions towards NPA amounting to Rs 1,70,370 crore that banks have booked loss of about Rs 17,388 crore, for which in no way bank employees are responsible, rather during the period, bank employees have worked tirelessly in the implementation of government initiatives such as Jan Dhan, Demonetisation, Mudra, Atal Pension, so on and so forth," said Devidas Tuljapurkar, the Maharashtra convenor of UFBU.

According to him, this has resulted in huge increase in workload. During the period, 22,507 new branches have been opened and business has increased from Rs 84.87 lakh crore to Rs 186.86 lakh crore, while staff is reduced, thus PEB has increased from 18.70 lakh to 27.30 lakh, and wages to total expenses have reduced from 13.27% to 10.81%.

Reasoning further, he said, "This is the period, during which consumer price index has shot up from 4,440 to 6,574 and thus employees and officers expect good amount of rise in the salary. Initially, UFBU approached the government, as also the Finance Secretary to intervene, but both of them have not responded, and hence, the strike has become imminent."