Operations at public sector banks are likely to be hit on Wednesday with the trade unions observing a one-day strike to press for wage revision and other demands. "The strike stands as the conciliation meeting before the chief labour commissioner between the unions and IBA (Indian Banks' Association) yesterday (Monday) failed to find an amicable solution," United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) Convenor C H Venkatachalam said. Banks, including the country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI), have already informed customers about the likely inconvenience due to the strike. A section of banking employees may take part in the proposed strike on Wednesday impacting the normal functioning of branches or offices, various public sector banks have said in advisories to customers. Ashwini Rana, general secretary of National Organisation of Bank Workers, said IBA held discussions with UFBU on December 14 on wage revision. After a lot of discussions, IBA stated that they would be able to offer an increase of five per cent over the wage expenses. "Since their offer was too low and not acceptable to the unions, it has been decided to go ahead with strike as per the schedule," Rana said.
The wage revision of bank employees was due from November 2012. UFBU is an umbrella organisation of nine bank employees and officers unions. There are 27 public sector banks in the country with employees strength of about 0.8 million. There are about 50,000 branches of these banks across the country. According to a release issued by All-India Andhra Bank Award Employees' Union, transactions at the branches of the Hyderabad-headquartered Andhra Bank are expected to be affected by Wednesday's strike. "Around 20,000 officers and employees working in 2,000 branches/offices of Andhra Bank across the country will take part in the strike on December 18 due to which cash/clearing and banking transactions will be paralysed," it said.