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Employee unions' strike affects operations of India's state-run lenders

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Employee unions' strike affects operations of India's state-run lenders

Indian bank employee unions' one-day strike Dec. 26 against the proposed merger of Vijaya Bank, Dena Bank and Bank of Baroda impacted operations at branches of public-sector lenders across the country, Press Trust of India reported.

The United Forum of Bank Unions, or UFBU, which gave the strike call, claimed that as many as 100,000 branches and offices of 21 public-sector banks were closed, and approximately 1 million employees and officers from the branches joined the strike, The Hindu Business Line reported. UFBU is an umbrella organization of nine bank unions in India, including the All India Bank Officers' Confederation, the All India Bank Employees’ Association and the National Organisation of Bank Workers.

The nationwide strike followed a one-day strike by an officers' union of state-run banks Dec. 21. The unions are protesting the government's decision to merge Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda and are demanding a revision of wages.

UFBU has already rejected the Indian Banks' Association's offer for an 8% increase in wages. Ashwani Rana, vice president of the National Organisation of Bank Workers, said the revision of wages has been due since November 2017.

Meanwhile, branches of private-sector banks in India were unaffected by the strike.