With the view of demanding the Central government for wage revision, the State Bank of India and other Public Sector Unit Banks had unanimously proposed for a nation-wide strike for two days from January 31st and it has been speculated that the strike would largely affect the banking and financial grounds across the nation and it was proposed at the crucial time when the BJP led Central government is in the final stage of shaping the Union Budget.
The Banking unions of the country's top banks had made prior notifications to their customers cautioning them that the banking services won't be at the place during the tenure of the strike as what it can be described as the unification of all the working unions to urge the center to meet their demands. The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has called on for the strike after the meeting with the Chief Labor Commissioner had failed to reach the consensus.
The UFBU is an umbrella organization that has 9 major bank unions functioning under its cover including All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), and National Organization of Bank Workers. Earlier, in its tweet, the AIBEA had asserted that the unions would be going with the strike as neither Chief Labor Commissioner nor Indian Banks' Association (IBA) had placed a commitment.
In the statement, AIBEA had said that the wage revision for the public sector bank employees has been pending since 2017 and stated that IBA had failed to disclose the clear commitment to the demands raised by the unions. The General Secretary of AIBEA claimed that the IBA has an arduous approach to the demands which has let the bank unions with no option other than proposing the strike to press the demands. The Association further appealed to the customers to endure with the unions for causing the hindrance and disruption in banking services over the strike.
Earlier last week, the State Bank of India and many PSU banks had notified their customers regarding the strike. The UFBU had accused the Indian Banks' Association on its approach towards addressing the demands of the unions including the wage revision. The reports say that the unions are demanding a 20% hike on the current payslip. Previously, the employees got a 15% hike for the period of November 1st, 2012 to October 31st, 2017. Some of the other demands include the change in leave policy and other prevailing benefits.
On the other hand, the trade federations in the state of Gujarat had approached the state's high court on Tuesday and filed a Public Interest Litigation with the view of seeking the directive from the court to dismiss the strike and debar the employees from restraining their duties. The petition was filed by Gujarat Traders' Federation, Rajkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Madhya Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and they have collectively claimed that suck strikes are illegal and they had proposed the strike for their own benefits at the cost of the public who are the ultimate sufferer. The trade unions had underlined that the strike would cause a loss of Rs 12,700 crore per day in Gujarat alone.
After hearing the petition, the Gujarat High Court had issued notices to the Ministry of Finance, Reserve Bank of India, Indian Banks' Association, and Bank Employees Federation to disclose the responses.