Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 12:
Banking operations across Odisha remained paralyzed today as over a million bank employees of around 75,000 bank branches in the country went on a nationwide one day strike called by the United Forum of Banking Unions (UFBU) protesting against privatization of banks and demanding pay revision.
The strike was total in 75,000 branches of 27 public sector banks, and 25,000 branches of 18 private and eight foreign banks across India, said UFBU sources.
Banking services in the all the major cities, including the capital city in Odisha, remained affected causing great difficulties for customers as employees joined the strike and shouted slogans in support of their demands in front of their bank branches.
Negotiations between representatives of bank employees unions and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) held yesterday in presence of the chief labour commissioner at the Labour ministry in New Delhi failed.
“The government has been callous to our demands despite 15 to 16 meetings between us and bank managements. We the members of six unions of bank employees have come together under one umbrella to put pressure on the government to meet our genuine demands. We have been providing services to the general public including the Jan Dhan Yojana of the government till 8 in the evening with very little staff strength but the government has not been revising our pays despite it being overdue by years,” said the convener of UFBU in Odisha.
The UFBU includes AIBEA, National Confederation of Bank Employees, Bank Employees Federation of India, Indian National Bank Employees Federation, Indian National Bank Officers’ Congress, National Organisation of Bank Workers, All India Bank Officers’ Association and National Organisation of Bank Officers.
An office bearer of UFBU in Brahmapur said; “Our pay revision is overdue by over two years, but the government is yet to revise it. What is more it has at the same time added additional workload on us on account of schemes like the current Jan Dhan Yojana of the government while reducing staff strength. If the government fails to meet our genuine demands, we will go for another three-day strike beginning December 4. If it does not redress our grievances, we will go for an indefinite strike”.