Banking services throughout India including West Bengal continued to remain paralysed for the second day today in response to a two day nationwide strike since yesterday.
The 48 hour All India strike has been called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), a conglomerate of nine bank unions, to press for its demand for a 30 per cent hike in salary and other payments with immediate effect.
Congratulating large number of bank employees throughout the country for their overwhelming support for the ‘success of the two day strike’, All India Bank Employees President Rajen Nagar and other senior office bearers of UFBU said here on Thursday that over 4,50,000 employees of all Public sector, Private and Regional Rural Banks and even the security guards of their respective ATMs participated the strike in support of their demand.
They however, expressed sincere regrets for causing huge inconveniences and untold miseries to millions of bank customers across the country because of the two day complete strike when not only all banks, their ATMs also downed their shutters.
‘We squarely blame the alleged big brother attitude of the Indian Bankers’ Association for forcing us to go for the nationwide strike by not agreeing to our demand (for a 30 per cent pay hike) for all Bank employees in accordance with the previous tripartite agreement with them,signed in 2012, said Nagar.
Instead of listening to us and seat for a dialogue for a negotiated settlement of the issue,they unanimously decided to offer us a meagre two per cent hike in salary against our demand for 30 per cent, Nagar said echoing others adding that in view of the current inflation and hike in prices of all commodities they could not accept such an offer and decided to go for a two day All India strike in protest.
About the timing of their strike and their decision to close all ATMs across the country, including over 21,000 odds in West Bengal, and that too at the time of payment of monthly salary and other dues for the employees of both organised and un organised sectors, Nagar claimed that they had no other option but to call the strike at this juncture to draw the attention of IBA.
However, all on line bank transactions remained open and functioned normally on both the days, he claimed and regretted the severe inconveniences to a large number of customers particularly those in rural and semi urban areas where bank branches were most active in every aspect of the banking transactions. Incidentally, this was the second nationwide bank strike on similar demand this year.
Hindusthan Samachar/Ankur/Shri Ram Shaw\