LUCKNOW: Banking services in Uttar Pradesh have been paralysed on Wednesday following a two-day strike by 21 public sector banks to press for wage revision.
Bank workers held a protest in several cities of the state under the banner of United Forum of Banking Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions has called for a 2-day nationwide bank strike against wage hike proposed by the Indian Banks' Association.
Most of the banks, including State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Bank of Baroda (BoB), have already informed their customers that functioning of branches and offices would be affected in the wake of the strike.
National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), Uttar Pradesh, general secretary KK Singh said here on Wednesday that the branches of the bank are closed but the online services would not be affected.
He said around one lakh bank employees are participating in the strike impacting over 1000 branches in the state. He added in Lucknow around 10,000 bank staff have joined the strike.
However, the functioning of private banks like ICICI, HDFC, Axis and Kotak Mahindra is expected to be normal except for delays in cheque clearance.
The Indian Banks' Association (IBA) stated that they have had several rounds of discussions in respect of wage negotiations in view of the huge non-performing assets or bad loans in the banks, only two per cent of wage increase was offered.
Bank unions, however, argued that the wage hike should not be linked to bad loans of banks since it is "not disputed that employees are contributing significantly (towards the functioning of banks) through their hard work".
In the last wage revision in 2012, which was for the period between November 1, 2012, and October 31, 2017, bank employees got a 15 per cent wage hike and the unions were expecting a better salary increase this time.