Bank employees to go on six-day strike in March

The employees of public-sector banks in India are demanding a 20% wage hike.

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Public-sector banks in India will not function for six days from the 10th to the 15th of next month, as the employees are going on a strike to demand higher wages. The strike is timed such that services will be affected close to Holi, and customers, as well as the banks themselves will definitely face a lot of inconvenience. Clearly, the aim is to ensure that they are heard.

The strike was announced after the employees failed to gain an audience with the Indian Banks Association (IBA) to discuss a wage revision. The bank employees believe they are paid half of what employees in the central government earn. Therefore, the unions have been seeking a 20 per cent hike. However, the IBA is willing to settle for a hike of upto 19 per cent.

This will be the second bank strike this year, and a third one is being planned in April, if the employees’ demands are not heeded, and that will be an indefinite strike. The first one took place early this month when cash withdrawals and cheque clearance were affected across the nation for two days.

It is the usual practice to revise wages for employees in banks every five years. The last revision was due in 2017, but has not yet taken place. Naturally, employees have been left feeling disappointed and dissatisfied. In the previous wage revision, the employees were given a 15 per cent wage hike, for the period 2012 to 2017.

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