March 30, 2017

Public Banks Go On A Warpath

Public Banks Go On A Warpath

Operations at public sector banks may be affected tomorrow as most unions under the sponsorship of UFBU have threatened to cease functioning to press for various demands, including accountability of top executives and resulting bad loans.
Most of the banks, including SBI, PNB and BoB, have already informed their customers that functioning of branches and offices may be impacted.
Functioning of private lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank may be normal except for delays in cheque clearances.
The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) is an umbrella body of 9 unions, but two of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh affiliates -National Organisation of Bank Workers and National Organisation of Bank Officers aren’t part of the stir.
The conciliation meeting before the chief labor commissioner on February 21 failed to resolve the dispute as the bank management represented by the Indian Banks Association did not agree to unions demands.
All attempts to find solutions to their demands yielded no results and hence UFBU decided to proceed with the proposed strike.
Unions are also opposed to proposed labor reforms involving reduced workforce and increased automation as well as outsourcing of permanent jobs in banks.
Some of the demands include compensation of employees and officers for additional work hours put in following demonetization and wage revision of bank employees.
They have also demanded adequate recruitment in all cadres, stringent measures to recover bad loans and accountability of top executives. There’s also a demand for criminal action against wilful defaulters. UFBU claims a membership of nearly 10 lakhs and has asked for reversing demonetization.
Over 27 public sector banks control most of the total business.

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