Bank unions across the county went on strike in 31st January and 1st February 2020, after wage revision talks with the Indian Banks Association (IBA) failed. Wage revision in the sector has been pending since November 2017. The Indian Banks Association had offered a 13.5% wage hike against 20% demanded by the unions. In the last wage settlement, which was for the period November 1, 2012, to 31st October 2017, the employees got a hike of 15%.
Public sector banking operations across the country were hit as employees took to the streets to protest against denial of their demand for wage revision. They staged dharnas in front of the offices of their banks.
The strike call has been given by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions, including All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW).
This two-day strike hit banking services quite severely in some states like Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. In the former state, 31,000 out of 32,000 bank staff struck work.The striking bank employees have threatened to go on strike 11th-13th March if their demands are not met by the government.
In some states like Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, employees of the state government joined the bank strike.
According to the Union’s office bearers, “IBA’s rigid approach has left unions with no option than to go on strike, “We appeal to the banking customers to bear with us for this disruption in services due to the strike but the same has been forced on us by the bank managements and IBA.”