Mysore/Mysuru: Banking services were affected in city and across the country as over 10 lakh employees of public sector banks have begun their two-day strike from today. Services will be affected tomorrow also.
The strike, called by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) that represents nine trade unions, over salary issues, comes on a day when the Budget Session of Parliament begins. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present her second Union Budget on Saturday, Feb. 1 (tomorrow).
With the strike, banks would be closed for three days including Sunday, and will reopen only on Monday, Feb. 3. Services at several bank branches and ATMs are likely to be down. Several ATMs could remain shut for three days as the bank strike comes before Sunday.
Cash deposit, withdrawal, cheque clearances, instrument issuance and loan disbursement operations could be affected due to strike.
In Mysuru, bank employees took out a massive rally from Saraswathipuram SBI Branch till Bogadi Road via Kamakshi Hospital and Vishvamanava Double Road. Most of the employees sported black shirts and some of them wore black bands to register their protest.
The UFBU decided to go ahead with the strike after a meeting with the Indian Bank Association (IBA) remained inconclusive. Unions are demanding 20 per cent hike on pay slip components with adequate loading. The wage revision for employees at public sector banks is pending since November 2017.
There are several demands, including the merger of special allowance with basic pay, updation of pension, improvement in the family pension system, five-day banking, allocation of staff welfare fund based on operating profits and exemption from income tax on retirement benefits without a ceiling.
IBA has made it clear that the proposal of 5-day banking is not possible. “It is known to all that the economy of the country is going through testing times. Banks being the principal players in economic development cannot afford to provide lesser number of working days for banking activities,” IBA said in a statement. It also said India already has one of the highest number of public holidays than any other country and adding 26 more holidays would create more problems for the public.