Protest against denial of wage revision
Banking operations were hit across Erode, Salem and Namakkal districts as the employees of all nationalised banks affiliated to nine unions kept away from work on Wednesday, expressing solidarity with the strike call by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), in protest against denial of wage revision for the last one year.
In Erode , about 2,300 protesting employees, including 350 women, criticised the policy of the Reserve Bank of India, which, UFBU Convenor of Erode unit S. Ganesh said favoured foreign banks. The RBI policy favours wholly owned subsidiary banks to take over private banks. It will create a pre-Independence situation where Indian deposits would be utilised to drive the economies of developed countries.
The UFBU would not permit the undermining of the importance of public sector banks in the growth of national economy, Mr. Ganesh said.
After giving a go by to wage revision for one year, the offer of five per cent hike was too little too late. The hike was not commensurate with price rise, Mr. Ganesh said. The strike impacted transactions to the tune of Rs. 800 crore in the district, he said. The impact of the strike was total in the rural parts. Services were normal in new generation private banks.
in Salem adds
Transactions to the tune of several crore rupees were affected in Salem district. ATMs of a few banks also went dry. Convenor of the United Forum of Bank Unions for Salem District – comprising nine unions that took part in the strike – in Salem K. Swaminathan said that about 3,000 bank employees who are working in close to 300 branches of nationalised banks and a few old private sector banks took part in the token strike.
“While seeking revision of our salaries is one of our demands, our primary motive is to save nationalised banks from going bankrupt due to wrong policies framed by the Union Government. Even when leading banks in the United States of America closed down, banks in India did not face that plight because they are directly under the eye of the Government”, he said.
Bank employees took part in the demonstration that was organised at the Canara Bank at Kottai in Salem city.
In Namakkal , bankers said that there are a total of 1,010 staff and officers in the ranks of managers in the branches of 105 nationalised banks. “As many as 838 of them did not turn up for work today”, the bank employees who took part in a demo in front of the Canara Bank on Mohanur Road said.