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Two day All India Bank strike to hit services

by Raju Vernekar
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Over 10 lakh employees of banks organised under the banner of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has decided to proceed on two day strike on 31 st January and First February as protest against increase workload, non-filling of vacancies and other issues.
The bank employees’ unions including AIBEA,AIBOC, NCBE, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF,INBOC, NOBW and NOBO representing almost 100 % bank employees and officers
will proceed on strike on Friday and Saturday, followed by three day strike from 11 March to 13 March. If the government fails to come forward for respectable negotiated settlement, then the employees will be forced to go on an indefinite strike from first April, 2020 onwards, Convenor of UFBU Devidas Tuljapurkar stated here on Wednesday and added that the Indian Banks Association’s rigid approach has left them with no option but to go on strike
All the government schemes such as Jan Dhan, Mudra, Adhar Linkage, Social Sector Insurance Scheme, Social Sector Pension Schemes, Digital India, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana etc. are centred around banking. These schemes have drastically increased the workload at the counter. On the other side banks have not filled in vacancies arising out of death, resignation, retirements and promotion.
While considering wage revision, the employees demands are not considered, with a plea that banks are struggling on profits. But the banks are in bad condition mainly on account of provisions for non-performing assets in which big corporate share is 80% and thus employees and officers cannot be held responsible or accountable for this situation, Tuljapurkar said and added that the wage revision for employees of public sector banks is pending since November 2017.
“ UFBU apologises to public and more particularly bank customers for the inconvenience. We are more than willing to extend seamless continued services but are helpless since despite continued negotiations for about 27 months, the bankers have not come forward with respectable offer on wage revision and improvements in service conditions, in the last 5 years. The meeting before Chief Labour Commissioner on Monday also remained inconclusive so unions did not take back strike notice”, Tuljapurkar said.
“In 10 th bipartite settlement employees and officers had signed the settlement on 15% rise on pay slip component, but the bankers offered only 12.25% on pay slip component. In last bipartite , weekly off on Two Saturday were given. This time with the extension in alternative banking channel such as ATM, Mobile Banking, RTGS,NEFT,NET Banking and digital banking initiative of the government, the unions are demanding weekly offs on all the remaining Saturdays. They have also demanded updation of pension and improvement in family pension to the retirees. But the issue remains unresolved”.
SBI and other PSU banks have notified their customers that services are likely to be affected due to the proposed two-day nationwide strike starting from January 31.
All the government offices had instructed their field Principal Accounts offices (PAOs) to upload files of salary payments on PFMS by 28th January. As a result the government employees may get their January 2020 salary earlier. If the files are uploaded late, then the salary may be delayed. The strike will coincide with the beginning of the Budget session and presentation of Union Budget 2020-21.
In Maharashtra around 40,000 employees and officers working in around 10,000 banks branches will observe the strike. Employees and Officers from 20 Public Sector Banks, Private Sector Banks, Foreign Banks and two Regional Rural Banks will also join the strike.

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