JAMMU, MAY 30: Bank employees went on 48 hours strike across India from today as a result of which people had to face a lot of problems today.
A large number of bank employees under the banner of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), a forum comprising of 9 Unions an Associations representing a million strong membership of officers and employees working in Public Sector Banks, Old Generation Private Sector Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks in the Country assembled at Bahu Plaza and held a protest. The agitating employees raised slogans against the Govt and IBA and demanded immediate settlement of their demands.
Addressing the bank employees, Suresh Wali, State Secretary, AIBOC, J&K said that they are agitating against the lackadaisical attitude exhibited by the Government of India and IBA combine in addressing their long pending demand of a meaningful and decent wage revision. Wage revision in the Banking industry has fallen due from November 1, 2017, for which a charter of demands was submitted to IBA in the mid of 2017, but despite UFBU demanding an early settlement of wage revision negotiations, Government and IBA has shown no interest in addressing the demands of UFBU. In the last round of negotiations held between IBA and UFBU, IBA played a cruel joke by offering a meagre 2 per cent hike in wages, which was not only unrealistic but also insulting to the entire workforce in the banking industry”, he added.
Wali further informed that the charter of demands submitted by both the Workmen Unions and the Offices’ Associations emphasised on adopting the principles of Central Pay Commissions for settling the wage revision in banks. UFBU has time and again reiterated that as per the Wage Code, every employer is legally bound to pay to its employee a decent wage as per the prevailing economic environment, he said, adding that IBA has been highlighting the impaired paying capacity of banks due to losses incurred in the recent past.
UFBU has continuously argued that year after year banks have been registering huge operating profits, however the entire operating profits are being washed away by making provisions for NPAs, which are mounting every year, he said, adding that 85% of the NPAs are on account of loans raised by the Corporates in India, who have defaulted in payments. These are big ticket loans which are sanctioned by the Boards of the banks being represented by top management, Government and RBI representatives. Ordinary Banking staff has absolutely no role in the process and instead of fixing accountability of these Board members and pressing criminal charges against wilful defaulters, hapless Bank employees are being punished by denying them their rightful wages, he added.
Suresh Wali highlighted the vital role played by the Banking industry in the economic growth of the country. He said that India today is the fastest growing economy of the world and the Banking Industry has played a pivotal role in the economic growth, adding that all Government welfare schemes have been launched by the banks.
He warned the Government that if the demands were not met in the near future, the bank employees will go on indefinite strike, without any fear of wage cut which they face whenever they are on strike.
Among others who addressed the gathering included Sham Lal Hans, Circle President SBI Staff Association Chandigarh Circle, Satish Khajuria, President AIBOC, JK Unit, Sandeep Gupta, Canara Bank officers’ Association and Kunal Singh Dogra from BOI Officers’ Association.