Many branches in different parts of the country wore deserted look, while at many places shutters were down, according to reports coming from different parts of the country. Services like deposit and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearances and issuance of drafts and other instruments were affected.
However, private sector banks like ICICI and HDFC Bank continued their usual operations.
Most of the banks had already informed their customers about the one-day strike, called by AIBOC, and its impact on their normal banking operations.
The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of the nine bank unions, has also decided to observe strike on December 26.
Taking into account these two days of unions’ strike and other holidays, banks will be closed for most of the extended Christmas weekend. So, most branches will be open only for a day between this Friday and next Wednesday. Till December 26, there are three holidays — fourth Saturday on December 22, then Sunday and then Christmas on Tuesday.
All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), also wants that the government should stop proposed merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank and consolidation of regional rural banks.
“The IBA is also not coming forward to structure the 11th bipartite wage negotiations based on our charter of demands by discussing the wage revision for officers from scale 1-7 and also based on the concept of minimum wages as envisaged in the seventh Central pay commission report,” AIBOC General Secretary Soumya Datta said.
Bank managements have mandated the industry lobby Indian Bank Association (IBA) to negotiate for scale 1-3.
AIBOC joint general secretary Ravinder Gupta said after 13 months of negotiations between the unions and IBA, the latter has offered a wage revision of 8 just per cent.
In the past wage settlement, which was for the period November 1, 2012 to October 31, 2017, the employees got a 15 per cent hike.
The IBA has also offered a variable pay based on the operating profit and return on assets, Gupta said.