As employees of public sector banks go on a two-day nationwide strike starting today, banking transactions are likely to take a huge hit across the country. With nearly 1 million bank employees on strike, even ATM services are also likely to be impacted as monthly salaries are expected on Thursday and cash withdrawals may get difficult. Banks, however, have said that they will replenish the ATMs before employees go on strike to make sure that ATMs don’t go dry. Online transactions will not be impacted despite the strike.
The dissatisfied bank employees are protesting against the two percent wage hike that has been proposed by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). The strike has been called by the United Forum of Banking Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions.
“On 30 and 31st May, 10 lakh bank employees all over India will be on strike over the issue of wage revision,” Vice-President of National Organisation of Bank Workers, Ashwani Rana said.
The UFBU has demanded early wage review settlement, sufficient increase in salary and improvement in other service conditions and wage revision settlement for all officers up to scale VII. The latest round of wage revision for all banks is due from 1 November 2017.
In the wage negotiation meeting held on May 5, the IBA refused to revise wages for all officers, citing poor financial conditions at banks. Large public sector banks had reported huge losses in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2018 owing to mounting bad loans. IBA had said that the negotiations on officers demands would be restricted up to scale III officers only.
While the banks have said that the ATM’s will be replenished, the ATM security guards are also likely to participate in the protest. Hence, the security of the ATMs cannot be ascertained.