Public sector bank services hit as employees union go on 2-day strike

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Bank Strike Today: All government banks will open on 3rd February. (File Photo)

Bank Strike Today: A two-day nationwide strike called by a union of bank employees has hit services like cash deposit, withdrawal, cheque clearances, instrument issuance and loan disbursement of public sector banks on Friday. Nearly 10 lakh employees of central banks like SBI and Bank of India went on a strike, with their demands ranging from 5-day work weeks to pay hike.

The bank strike coincides with the beginning of the Budget session of Parliament and presentation of Union Budget 2020-21 and the Economic Survey.

Also Read: Budget Session LIVE updates

The strike has been called by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine different bank unions, including, All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW).

However, private banks such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and IDBI Bank will be unaffected from the strike and remain open on Friday and Saturday.

The strike was preceded by an inconclusive meeting between AIBEA General Secretary C H Venkatachalam and Indian Banks' Association, the representative body of banking management. Following the meeting, Venkatachalam stated, "Today's talks with Indian Banks' Association (IBA) failed on-demand from unions, so strike call stands".

Cash deposit, withdrawal, cheque clearances, instrument issuance and loan disbursement were affected.

The demands of the employees comprise a 20% hike in payslip components, scrapping of the new pension scheme, merging of the basic pay with special allowance, allocation of Staff Welfare Fund based on operating profits and a 5-day workweek. Another major demand of this strike is the hike in the employees' salary, which was last appreciated by 15% in November 2017.

A section of bank employees had gone on a day-long strike on January 8 in support of 10 major trade unions' protest call against the government's "anti-people" policies.

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