PSB strike: Cheque clearing and draft facilities to be hit hard
By Neelima Shankar
Aug 7, 2009
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Employees of all nationalised banks, including State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Union Bank of India will strike work on two consecutive days, Thursday and Friday (August 6 and 7).

The strike was called by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) to protest against the Indian Banks Association (IBA) decision to offer 13 percent pay hike against the earlier offer of 15%. However, the employees demand a pay hike of 17.5%.

The strike will hit hard the retail operations including drafts and cheque clearance.It is estimated that an average 35.21 lakh cheques (valued around Rs 26,767 crore) were cleared everyday during May 2009.

Based on this it is likely that clearance of 10.6 lakh cheques worth Rs 8,030 crore would be affected during the strike period.

Quoting a senior official on the matter, "Also, since the access of ATMs has become free for customers, bankers feel that savings account customers will not face much trouble."

Some of the bank including SBI had notified the customers asking them to make any important/urgent transactions before August 6 to avoid inconvenience. The bank also advised its customers to use alternative channels like ATMs and internet banking during the period.

General Secretary, AIBEA & UFBU Convener, C.H. Venkatachalam said, "the unions had rejected the Indian Banks' Association's (IBA) wage revision offer made late Tuesday night."

In the last meeting between UFBU and Indian Banks'Association (IBA) was held on 4 August, in which the Union's demand for increasing salary of government bank employees on par with government employees was let down.

United Forum of Bank Unions represents more than 7.5-lakh workers and officers across banking domain. It is a consortium of nine unions (5 workmen unions and 4 officers' associations). These include AIBEA (All India Bank Employees Association), AIBOC (All India Bank Officers Confederation), NCBE (National Confederation of Bank Employees), AIBOA (All India Bank Officers Association), BEFI (Bank Employees Federation of India), INBEC (Indian National Bank Employees Congress), INBOC (Indian National Bank Officers Congress), NOBW (National Organisation of Bank Workers) and NOBO (National Organisation of Bank Officers).


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