Bank operations will be imapcted today as the public sector banks are on a one-day strike. Nine bank unions have called for a day-long protest to press for several demands including wage revision and accountability of top executives in view of mounting bad loans in the banking sector.
SBI and few other public banks have already informed their customers that the functioning of the branch may take a hit though private banks like ICICI, HDFC and others are likely to function normally but may have slight delay in cheque clearances.
The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions in the sector comprises of nine unions in the banking sector -- namely AIBEA, AIBOC, NCBE, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF, INBOC, NOBW and NOBO.
Bank employees and officers in all public sector banks, including SBI, all old-generation private banks, foreign banks, Regional Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks will observe one-day strike.
The strike is to be held to protest the government's "anti-people banking reforms" as well as to demand compensation for employees for extra work done on account of demonetisation.
However, employees of the IT departments of some banks participating in the strike have been granted exemption from the strike, therefore the online banking operations are expected to function as normal.
Unions are also opposed to the proposed labour reforms of the government and outsourcing of permanent jobs in the banking sector.
They have also demanded adequate recruitment in all cadres, stringent measures to recover bad loans and accountability of top executives. Besides, they have pitched for criminal action against wilful defaulters.
UFBU, who claims membership of nearly 10 lakh across banks, also requested the government for cost reimbursement of demonetisation to banks.
The conciliation meeting before the Chief Labour Commissioner on February 21 failed to break the deadlock as the bank management body -- Indian Banks Association (IBA) -- did not agree to the union demands, All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C H Venkatachalam said in a statement.
The functioning of private lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank is expected to be normal except delay in cheque clearances.