The local unit of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), held a massive protest demonstration at Bharat Nagar on Wednesday to put forward their demands. Public sector and old private banks remained closed.
While addressing the bank employees, leaders of the forum said the strike on November 12 was a befitting reply to the rigid approach adopted by the Indian Banks' Association (IBA).
"Although a total of 14 rounds of negotiations have taken place in the past two years, the IBA has not come to any significant conclusion. The demand for wage increase is all the more justified today in the context of price rise and continuing inflation.
But IBA is offering a wage hike of only 11% over the existing pay slip cost on the ground that the banks' profits have lowered," said PR Mehta, president, Punjab Bank Employees Federation. He added that although the total profits had increased, the net profit is less due to provision for bad loans.
"But why must ordianry employees have to bear the brunt. In fact, the unions have assured that we can find out ways and means to recover the bad loans through stringent measures and improve the profits through better productivity etc but it is unfair to deny employees of legitimate increase in wage," said Mehta
On the other hand, Naresh Gaur, convener, UFBU said the IBA needed to improve their offer and finalise the settlement at the earliest.
Gaur added that employees would be compelled to intensify the agitation, if the circumstances didn't change.
Gulshan Chauhan, JP Kalra, (All India Bank Officers' Confederation), Pawan Thakur, President, Punjab Bank Employees Federation (Ludhiana Unit) and Rakesh Khanna, Associate Banks Officers' Association were present among others.