COIMBATORE: In the first month of next year - 2015 - customers will have a tough time as banks will be shut down for 12 days, thanks to the strike announced by the Bank Employees’ Association and the line of festivals.
The Bank Employees’ Association has announced two stages of strike one on Jan 7 and then a four-day strike from Jan 21-24, to press its demand of immediate wage revision. The association is also planning to launch an indefinite strike from March 16, if the government failed to concede its demands.
With five days of work in banks likely to be affected by the strike, a number of festivals like New Year, Pongal, Republic Day and four Sundays are also on the list and as a result the banks will be functional only for 19 days in January. This means, customers will not be able to accomplish any service at their respective banks on these 12 days.
TM Sethu Anwar Hussain, president, Coimbatore District Consumers Protective Council, said that the strike for five days would make a severe impact on the customers from those holding small saving accounts to current and corporate accounts. The management of many companies might not be able to disburse daily wages to their labourers.
“These types of strikes and agitations, which will affect the economy, should be banned across the country. The banking sector plays a major part in the progress of a country, especially in developing countries like India. Realising this, bank employees should not resort to such protests as it will take a heavy toll on lakhs of customers,” he added.
“Of course, employees too have equal rights to press their demands and protest for their needs. But, they should ensure that the customers are not affected. Rather, they could raise their demands with the government through the ministry concerned without such agitations.”
However, MV Rajan, general secretary of the Coimbatore District Bank Employees Association said, “The last wage revision was in October 2012. After that, there was no revision for two years.”
“Moreover, a fresher in banking sector gets an initial pay of only `14,000 per month, whereas those in software companies draw `25,000 to `30,000,” he added.