Banks accrue profit from beleaguered bankers strike

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 May 2018 11:39:37


Business Reporter


IT could be served as best example of ‘role reversal’. However, it had been in practice for past quite a long time, given the Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) avidly followed by all public and private sector banks in Chhattisgarh and elsewhere in the country, in case of strike. In usual course, it is always reported by media that the bank employees strike incurs loss of financial transactions to the tune of several crores. But for the first time, it came to fore that bank also accumulates profit, if not hefty but marginally, from the strike as they deduct salary of striking employees, whose figures too goes in crores. The bank branches also saved a huge amount due to non-consumption of electricity, daily miscellaneous expenses, internet banking etc.

While first day of the two-day strike of bank employees on Wednesday in Chhattisgarh affected financial transaction worth Rs 2,500 crores, it also saw banking institutions earning profit of over Rs 35 crore, albeit unnoticed from the layman’s point of view. The profit was earned by the virtue of one-day average salary deduction of around 12,000 bank employees, who remained absent from their duties while taking part in the nation-wide strike, which was called by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) to press their single-point demand of long-pending
‘Wage Revision’.

The day-long strike brought the bank employees and officers representing various unions fromdifferent nationalised banks on a common platform under the parent organisation UFBU. The striking bank men assembled here at the Moti Bagh based premises of Punjab National Bank (PNB) and strongly opposed the anti-employee policies of the Indian Banks Association and bank management. However, the functioning of private banks like ICICI, HDFC, Axis and Kotak Mahindra were expected to be normal apart from delays in cheque clearance. In the mean time, the banks have ensured that its digital banking systems and ATMs for those who need cash are available at all times for the convenience of customers.

While talking to The Hitavada, Sharad Rathore said “Banking business worth around Rs 1,200 crore must have been affected in capital Raipur alone due to strike because of 3,000 (approx) strong workforce of PSU banks employees and officers abstained from duty as a part of the protest. The strike brought a complete halt to financial transactions, all government banking transactions, cheque clearing, acceptance of government challan plus receipts and payments along with all bank customers related transactions in around 1800 branches of Public Sector Banks in the state.”

He further said that the 11th Wage Settlement was due from November 1, 2017 and six months ahead of the actual revision time, UFBU handed over memorandum of charter of demands to Indian Banks Association (IBA), which is the representative of Union Government. But, to the utter surprise, during bipartite meeting IBA proposed a meager 2 per cent hike in wages, which was outright rejected by UFBU. “If Indian Banks Association (IBA) is still undeterred with the ongoing two-day national level strike for an amicable solution to overdue wage revision, UFBU is going to decide on the next step in a meeting to be held very recently” Shirish Nalgundwar added. He was of the view that the next step would be an indefinite strike in near future. The striking bank men representing different organisations led by Convener of UFBU Raipur Unit Shushant Mukherjee included Shirish Nalgundwar, Vijay Yechuri, Sharad Rathore, Vijay Bakshi, Suresh Bani, Niranjan Yadav, Arun, S K Khajanchi, D K Sarkar, Dharmendra Agrawal, Gopal Rao, Shakil Sazid, Chittaranjan Bhagat and others. Female members gathered in large number and demonstrated under the leadership of Swati Agrawal Taori.