New Delhi: Operations at public sector banks may be hit on Tuesday as most unions under the aegis of UFBU have threatened to go on strike to press for various demands, including accountability of top executives in view of mounting bad loans in the banking 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.
The functioning of private lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank is expected to be normal except delay in cheque clearances. 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 conciliation meeting before the chief labour commissioner on February 21 failed to break the logjam as the bank management represented by the Indian Banks Association did not agree to demands and put conditions, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C H Venkatachalam told PTI. All attempts to find solutions to the demands raised by the unions yielded no results and hence, UFBU decided to proceed with the proposed strike on February 28, he said.
Unions are also opposed to the proposed labour reforms of the government and outsourcing of permanent jobs in the banking sector. Some of the demands include compensation of employees and officers for extra hours of work put in following demonetisation in November and early initiation of process of next wage revision of bank employees. 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.
UFBU, who claims membership of nearly 10 lakh across banks, also requested the government for cost reimbursement of demonetisation to banks. As many as 27 public sector banks control 75 per cent of the total business.