Several banks in Ludhiana remained closed on Wednesday on the strike call given by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) demanding revision of salaries.
A massive protest demonstration was held by bank employees at Bharat Nagar Chowk, and vehicular traffic was also disrupted when the protest swelled on to Ferozepur Road.
UFBU convener Naresh Gaur said the strike received a positive response. “Another strike will be observed in northern parts of the country including Ludhiana on December 3,” Gaur said.
Banks have been demanding early and better wage revision settlement from the government.
Punjab Bank Employees Federation president PR Mehta, federation's Ludhiana unit president Pawan Thakur, Government College Teachers Association general secretary Jai Pal Singh, and Joint Council of Trade Unions general secretary DP Maur also addressed the bank employees at Bharat Nagar Chowk.
Addressing the employees, leaders of the forum said it was two years since they had submitted our charter of demands. While rounds of negotiations had taken place, there was no satisfactory progress because of the negative attitude of government, they added.
Gaur said, “On November 10, discussions took place between UFBU and Indian Banks Association (IBA) at New Delhi. During the discussions, IBA continued with their pleading that due to reducing profits of banks, it would be difficult for them to accede to UFBU's demands, but they would consider them, if UFBU substantially reduces the demands.”
“From UFBU, we got these arguments that our demands are quite reasonable and workable and yet UFBU would be flexible if IBA would come up with an improved offer so that an amicable settlement can be reached ending the anxiety of the employees and officers,” he said.
“Unfortunately, IBA remained adamant and refused to improve their offer, thus compelling a situation on us,” Gaur said.
Pawan Thakur said different zones of the country would observe strike on different days in December.