Tribune News Service
Bathinda, February 1
The PSU banks’ strike continued for the second day on Saturday. All banks remained closed. The strike call was given by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of the nine bank unions, including All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers.
The employees gathered in front of the branch of Union Bank of India and staged a protest against the Union Government over their long-pending demands, including wage revision. They criticised the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and the Central Government for their apathetic attitude towards meeting the genuine demands of the bankers.
They claimed that owing to the wrong policies of the management and the Union Government, about 10 lakh staff and officers of public sector banks were forced to come out on roads to stage a protest for their rights.
Addressing the rally, Lajpat Rai Goel, deputy general secretary of the State Bank of India Officers’ Association, demanded that there should be defined working hours for the officers and the new pension scheme scrapped. He also laid emphasis on the system equal wage for equal work for contract employees.
He warned that if their demands were not met, they would go on strike for three days from March 11 and then on an indefinite strike from April 1. The unions were demanding wage revision settlement at 20 per cent hike on pay slip components with adequate loading.
In the past wage settlement, which was for the November 1, 2012, to October 31, 2017, period, the employees got a 15 per cent hike. Earlier this month, a section of bank employees had gone on a day-long strike on January 8 in support of 10 major trade unions’ protest call against the government’s “anti-people” policies.
The public faced inconvenience as many PSU bank ATMs went out of cash as they had not been replenished with cash due to the strike. Even cheque clearances, instrument issuance and loan disbursements were also affected.
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