Strike cripples banking activity

Highlights

Strike cripples banking activity. The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), AP branch, continued the strike for the second day on Tuesday to press their demand to revise salaries which was overdue in 2012.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), AP branch, continued the strike for the second day on Tuesday to press their demand to revise salaries which was overdue in 2012. The bank employees have been demanding 25% salary hike on par with other public sector undertakings in the country. The Ministry of Finance, Govt of India, offered a 5 per cent hike in salary in December 2013 and again on Monday, Indian Banks' Association (IBA) offered a 10 per cent hike. It was, however, rejected by the association.

More than 1000 members from all local banks staged a demonstration in front of the main office of the State Bank of Hyderabad at Gunfoundry, Abids, demanding immediate revision of wages. Banking transactions were paralysed all over the country due to the two-day strike.
M Harshavardhan, president, All India Bank Officers' Confederation, said, “The two-day strike was a cent per cent success, because of the total involvement and participation of all the staff and officers, including senior management cadre level, all over the country. This is only an acid test for exhibiting our unity and strength to the top management, the IBA and the Ministry of Finance. We need to prepare for a total strike indefinitely if warranted, in case the government fails to meet our reasonable and respectful wage settlement demands.”
He further claimed, “The operating profits of banks have been increasing by the year. For instance, the combined operating profit of public sector banks stood at Rs 1.20 lakh crore. But the net profit was only around Rs 50,000 crore, as the banks had earmarked Rs 45,000 crore towards bad loans. Most of the bad loans (NPAs) were, in fact, willful default by corporate borrowers. The money set aside for bad loan provisioning by nationalised banks was roughly equal to the employees’ total wage bill.”
Due to the strike by public sector banks for the last two days, more than 3 lakh crore turnover was held up.
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