Banking services in Maharashtra are likely to be affected today too as bank employees continued their nationwide strike for the second day protesting a "meagre" 2 per cent wage hike offered by the Indian Banks' Association (IBA), representing management.
Nearly 60,000 employees and officers from 12,000 branches of various public banks, old generation private sector banks, foreign lenders and regional rural banks are on a two-day nation-wide strike since yesterday. United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the umbrella body of nine unions under which bank employees are protesting, claimed that the first day of bank strike was a 100 per cent success.
"All banking services were crippled as bank branches were closed. ATMs also dried up after few hours as currency chests were closed," UFBU's convener (Maharashtra) Devidas Tuljapurkar claimed. According to an estimate by industry body Assocham, the two-day nation-wide bank strike might impact Rs 20,000 crore worth of customer transactions.
In its last wage negotiation meeting held earlier this month, IBA proposed a nominal salary revision to bank employees and officers, owing to huge losses incurred by them in the last few quarters, bank unions said. Tuljapurkar attributed the huge losses to higher provisioning made by these lenders for non-performing assets (NPAs).
"Bank employees are not responsible for the fall in profits," he added. In the current wage negotiation meeting, IBA also maintained that the negotiations over officers' demand would be restricted up to scale III officers only. In the last wage settlement, which was applicable for the period from November 1, 2012, to October 31, 2017, IBA had given a wage hike of 15 per cent to bank employees.
Across the country, close to 10 lakh employees and officers of 21 public sector banks, 13 old generation private sector banks, six foreign banks and 56 regional rural banks are on a two-strike.