Bank Strike Impact: Rs 23000 crore worth of cheques are held up

On friday, Banking operations got a great impact due to the strike by bankers pressurizing for the early settlement of wage revision, said a top leader of All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA).

“In the clearing grids in Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi, about 31 lakh cheques worth about ₹23,000 crore could not be cleared due to the strike. Most of the bank branches remained closed. Cash could not be deposited or withdrawn, C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA said.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), which an umbrella body of nine unions in the banking sector had started the strike of 31 January and 1 February.

“As per reports reaching us from all over the country, mainly from major states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, West Bengal, UP, MP, Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Bihar, etc. banking transactions have been greatly affected,” Venkatachalam said.

Bankers kept this strike on a day when the Economic Survey will be presented and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present th e Budget on 1 February .

Venkatachalam said wage revision settlement in banks is due from November, 2017 because the last settlement ended in October, 2017.

Even though discussions are going on for the past 30 months, the bank management and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) did not come forward to settle the demands with a reasonable increase in salary looking to inflation and heavy workload on the employees.

“In the conciliation meeting held by Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC) in Delhi on Jan 27, 2020, attempts were made to reconcile but the discussions did not result in any conclusion. Hence the CLC advised the IBA to hold direct bilateral talks with the Unions before the strike and try for a solution,” Venkatachalam said.