Bank strike from January 31, branches likely to be shut on Budget day

After wage revision discussion with the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) failed, bank employees’ unions are most likely to go on nationwide strike for a two-day on January 31 and February 1.

This would be the second bank strike this month, after the first one was observed along with Bharat Bandh on January 8.

Bank strike

This time the date of the bank strike is coinciding with the Budget day. As per the schedule, the Economic Survey will be presented on January 31 while on February 1 the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be presenting her second Budget.

Since February 1 is the first Saturday of the month, all commercial banks are meant to be open on the Budget day. Even stock exchanges have decided to open, due to the Budget.

Representatives of nine constituents of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) held bipartite talks on Monday with the IBA in which various wage-related talks were turned down. Bank unions are demanding a 20 percent hike on payslip components, amalgamation of special allowance with basic pay and a uniform 5-day work week. Other demands include scrapping of New Pension Scheme, improvement in family pension and defined working hours for officers.

“After discussing the financial offers of IBA amongst the constituents, UFBU expressed its inability to accept the same. Thereafter UFBU meeting was held as scheduled and decisions were taken to launch agitations and Strike actions,” UFBU general secretary Debasish Basu Chaudhury said.

UFBU, that represents nine trade unions of the country, has threatened to go on another three-day strike from March 11-13, to be followed by an indefinite strike from April 1 if their demands of pay hike are not fulfilled.

Besides wage related issues, bank unions are also protesting against the Narendra Modi government for amalgamation of several PSU banks. The January 8 bank strike was successful in several parts of the country as scores of bank employees stopped from work.

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