More than 10 lakh employees of the nationalised, private and foreign banks will strike work on January 20 and 21. Nine employees’ associations met here on Monday and took the decision.

Unlike during the December 18 strike, ATMs may run out of cash this time because the strike follows a Sunday and many of the contract cash-filling employees are joining the strike to express solidarity, the associations say.

“We have decided to go for a total shutdown of banks as there was no response from the government to the one-day strike on December 18. We are offered a five per cent increase in salary as against the demand for 30 per cent,” said A.K. Ramesh Babu, president, Bank Employee Federation of India (BEFI).

Besides demanding a salary increase, the employees protest the reduction in the staff strength; denial of their say in fixing of salaries; and outsourcing. Gradual reduction in salaries is an attempt by the government to make bank jobs unattractive. The salary cost of employees has come down to 16 per cent from 20 per cent earlier, but the government is uninterested in increasing salaries, argues Mr. Ramesh Babu.

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