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A nation-wide strike has been called by bank unions.INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images

A two-day strike has been called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) to protest against the meagre salary hike offered to bank employees. Over 10 lakh bank employees will cease all official work for two days, on May 30 and May 31.

While the decision to protest during the salary day has not been well-recieved, many are questioning the reason behind the decision, one that might impact the banking sector and crores of people across the country.

Earlier this month, the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) had offered a hike of a measly hike of 2 percent over the total wage bill of the banks. This was immediately rejected by the bank unions, thus prompting a nation-wide strike.

What is the protest all about?

  • Amid a charter of demands, the bank employees are mainly protesting against the meagre two percent salary hikes
  • The two percent salary hike was offered by the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) earlier this month.
  • The bank unions rejected the offer right away, demanding a quick and early wage revision
  • The offer also stated that the negotiations on officers' demands would apply only up to Scale III officers
  • The unions also opposed the laid-back approach of government toward wage revision for bank employees
  • They have also asked for a suitable increase in salary and wage revision settlement that includes all officers up to scale VII
  • There are seven grades of officers from scale I to VII. The junior-most or entry-level officer belongs to the Grade I while grade VII comprises of officers belonging to the general manager level.
  • On Monday, bank union leader Ashok Gupta stated that the talks between the unions and the IBA had failed, reports NDTV.
  • The bank unions asserted that they would not be willing to accept a wage hike below 14 to 15 percent.
  • Employees had received nearly 15 percent wage rise in the revision during the period from November 1, 2012, to October 31, 2017

The nation-wide strike is backed by bank unions including National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), The Times of India reported.