The two-day bank strike by 10 lakh bankers demanding early wage settlement started today, disturbing business and millions of customers, increasing jam at ATM around the end of the month-a time when the salaries of most employees credited in their bank accounts.
On May 28, the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) said that they would offer a 2% wage hike in 2018. The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) said that it is an incompetent decision.
CH Venkatachalam, general secretary of AIBEA said, “Last time the wage hike was 15% and prior to that it was 17.5%. To start a wage hike discussion at 2% increase is ridiculous. IBA should increase it adequately based on which we can talk further”.
IBA boycotted senior employees (grade 4-7 scale officers) from the discussions. Banks have employees on grades ranging from 1 to 7, one being the lowest. Venkatachalam said “Currently, it is willing to consider a wage revision only for the junior employees between grade 1 and 3. Usually, wage revision used to be composite for all. We want IBA to be transparent,”, he also added that IBA said it is willing to meet the union after 10 days, holding out hope that the strike could be resolved.
Last week, IBA assisted banks that the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) had served notice of a strike. Venkatachalam said “ATMs will be impacted to a certain extent. Banks will not be able to replenish cash during the period of the strike, causing ATMs to go dry”. He also added, “In major towns, you have the so-called new generation private banks such as ICICI Bank Ltd and HDFC Bank Ltd as they don’t have a union and they will function”.
Online transactions from unified payment interface (UPI), debit cards, net banking, credit cards and fund transfers including national electronic funds transfer (NEFT), real-time gross settlement (RTGS), and immediate payment service (IMPS) will not be disturbed.