Chennai: Routine operations at public sector banks are likely to be hit on Tuesday as nine unions under the aegis of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) have called for a strike to press for various demands, including top executives’ accountability in view of mounting bad loans in the sector.
Most of the banks, including SBI, PNB and BoB, have already informed their customers that functioning of branches and offices will be impacted if the strike takes off.
"United Forum of Bank Unions, comprising nine unions in the banking sector — namely AIBEA, AIBOC, NCBE, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF, INBOC, NOBW and NOBO — bank employees and officers in all public sector banks, including SBI, all old-generation private banks, foreign banks, Regional Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks will observe one-day strike on February 28", All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam said in a statement here.
"The unions in the banking industry have been fighting for more than two decades against the reform measures of the government as these are against the interests of general public and labour force in the country," the AIBEA General Secretary said.
"Further, every effort is being made to outsource permanent jobs in the banking industry, too, which is fraught with risks," it added.
Venkatachalam said the strike call comes after all attempts to find a solution to the demands raised by the unions yielded no results.
The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) is an umbrella body of 9 unions, but two of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh affiliates — National Organisation of Bank Workers and National Organisation of Bank Officers — are not part of the stir.
The demands include compensation of employees for extra work put in after demonetisation in November and early initiation of process of next wage revision of bank employees.
“The role of bank employees during the implementation period of demonetisation was appreciated by the government, customers and the general public. It is a pity that the hard work is not given due recognition,” Venkatachalam added.
Unions are also opposed to the proposed labour reforms of the government and outsourcing of permanent jobs in the banking sector.
They have also demanded adequate recruitment in all cadres, stringent measures to recover bad loans and accountability of top executives. Besides, they have pitched for criminal action against wilful defaulters.
Routine activities at private lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank is expected to be normal except delay in cheque clearances.