Mysuru: Nearly 4,000 Public Sector Bank employees from Mysuru District gathered in front of SBI Regional Office on Sahukar Chennaiah Road in T.K. Layout here this morning to participate in a two-day Nationwide strike against a ‘meagre’ 2 per cent salary hike proposed by Indian Banks Association (IBA).
The strike is likely to hit ATM withdrawals and all other banking transactions, as the Public Sector Banks have remained closed from this morning. However, the Bank officials said that since the ATMs have been sufficiently replenished with cash before the strike, the customers might not face problems today, but once they run dry, tomorrow there might be cash crunch.
The strike is called by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the parent body of Bank Unions, including National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI).
The protesters, shouting slogans against the government, took out a march from SBI Regional Office and passed through Kamakshi Hospital Road, Vishwamanava Double Road before returning to starting point. AIBOC President Shivaprasad, SBI Officers Association President Sriram, Comrade G.S. Prasanna and IOB Officers Association President G.N. Swamy took part in the protest.
Meanwhile, nearly 500 Bank staff gathered at Canara Bank Regional Office in Nazarbad and staged a protest where a few officials from SBI joined them. Mysuru District Bank Employees Federation’s Nayak, M. N. Ramesh and others were present. The protestors dispersed after nearly one-and-a-half-hour.
The UFBU has demanded early wage revision, appropriate hike in salary, employment on compassionate grounds, adequate staff strength, improvement in service conditions and other facilities. The latest round of wage revision for all Banks is due from Nov.1, 2017.
However, on May 5, the IBA refused to revise wages for all officers, citing poor financial conditions at Banks, as large Public Sector Banks had reported huge losses owing to mounting bad loans.
There are about ten lakh Bank employees in the country and 1.5 lakh in the State, with 5,000 employees in Mysuru District alone.
However, the Private Sector Banks like HDFC, ICICI and Axis functioned as usual.
The two-day Bank strike is creating hardships to the business community as their daily financial transactions have been hit. A rice merchant at APMC Yard in Bandipalya S. Manhohar, speaking to Star of Mysore, said that he has a current account in SBI, Hebbal and he was finding it difficult to clear the customers’ cheques and as well as honouring the cheques that he had given to others.
“I could not even do RTGS clearing. This strike call is not good for grain merchants who depend on cash and cheque transactions every day,” he said.
Moulding mat dealer K. Kantharaju said that he has an account at SBI, Vijayanagar and he faces problem now as he gets the moulding mats from outside the State and if he does not make payment, then the materials will be held up.
Builder R. Srinivas and brick factory owner T. Srikanth said that as it is, after demonetisation, the business has been badly hit and this bank strike has added further misery to their business.
“The bank staff should not only think about their interest but also the interest of their customers. They can always settle their issues without resorting to strikes and bank bandhs that affect normal life,” said the businessmen.