Banking customers must be prepared for a possibility of an indefinite strike called by bank unions of India. United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), which represents nine trade unions, is continuing its protest after the wage revision talks with the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) failed.

The UFBU has called for a second protest this month, which assumes two-day nationwide bank strike on January 31 and February 1, 2020. The first strike was observed alongside Bharat Bandh protest against anti-labour policies' of the government on January 8.

In wake of the two-day bank strike this month, India's largest lender SBI said on Friday that its operations might be affected to some extent. The nationalised bank noted that all arrangements have been made to ensure normal functioning, but warns of potential disruption.

State Bank of India, SBI
A man stands outside a State Bank of India branch in Gurugram on May 31, 2018IANS

The indefinite bank strike

UFBU has threated to hold another three-day strike from March 11 till 13 if the proposed demands are not met by the government. UFBU has further threatened to call for an indefinite strike from April 1 is the pay hike demands are not met, UFBU state convenor Siddartha Khan told PTI.

UFBU calls for multiple nationwide strikes
UFBU calls for multiple nationwide strikesTwitter/UFBU

What are the demands?

UFBU is an umbrella body of 9 bank unions, which include AIBEA, AIBOC, NCBE, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF, INBOC, NOBW and NOBO. The bank unions are demanding the following:

  1. 20 percent hike on payslip components
  2. The merger of special allowance with basic pay
  3. Uniform 5-day work week
  4. The scrapping of the New Pension Scheme
  5. Improvements in family pension
  6. Defined working hours for officers

"After discussing the financial offers of IBA amongst the constituents, UFBU expressed its inability to accept the same. Thereafter UFBU meeting was held as scheduled and decisions were taken to launch agitations and Strike actions," UFBU general secretary Debasish Basu Chaudhury was quoted as saying.