Bank strike: 10 lakh bankers to boycott work on January 31 and February 1

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has called a two-day nationwide bank strike from Friday (January 31) demanding early wage revision settlement, due since November 1, 2017.

Bank strike: 10 lakh bankers to boycott work on January 31 and February 1

New Delhi: The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has called a two-day nationwide bank strike from Friday (January 31) demanding early wage revision settlement, due since November 1, 2017. The two-day strike coincides with the Budget Session of Parliament, which commences today.

The strike would hit banking operations today and February 1 with about 10 lakh bankers in government and private sector have decided to boycott their work. On Thursday, the bank employees unions decided to go on with the strike as a meeting with the Indian Bank Association (IBA) remained inconclusive. 

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According to the IBA statement, "Multiple rounds of discussions have been held between the IBA Negotiating Committee and the United Forum of Bank Unions for the Wage Revision of Bank employees. In the meeting held on 30th January 2020, despite the revised offer of up to 19% hike including performance-linked incentive made from IBA side, the Unions have unfortunately decided to go ahead with an all-India Bank strike on 31st January and 1st February 2020, to be followed by other agitational programmes."

It further stated, "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. One such demand is for 5-day banking. It is known to all that the economy of the country is going through testing times. Banks being the principal players in economic development, cannot afford to provide a lesser number of working days for banking activities. Our country already has one of the highest numbers of public holidays than any other country and adding 26 more holidays would create more problems for the public."

The IBA added, "For the convenience of the customers, Banks will keep alternative channels available and customers can utilise these alternate/digital channels of banking 24x7 for day to day banking."

According to report, banks will also hold a strike on March 11, 12 and 13, besides staging an indefinite strike from April 1. The strike would affect services at several bank branches and ATMs.

Among several demands to hold the strike include the merger of special allowance with basic pay, updation of pension, improvement in the family pension system, five-day banking, allocation of staff welfare fund based on operating profits and exemption from income tax on retiral benefits without a ceiling. 

Notably, the strike will be spearheaded by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions in the banking sector.