New Delhi, May 30: Normal banking operations is likely to be hit today as the United Forum of Banking Unions (UFBU)(an umbrella body of nine unions) has called for a two-day nationwide bank strike from Wednesday against meagre two per cent wage hike proposed by the Indian Banks’ Association. Several banks including State Bank of India, Canara Bank, Bank of Baroda and others have cautioned that their services would be impacted following the countrywide protest. The salaried class are expected to bear the brunt of bank strike as bank branches would be closed on May 30 and May 31. ATMs may run dry and cash withdrawal would also be affected in the upcoming two days.

Nearly 10 lakh bankers in government and private sectors are believed to be a part of the strike which has been called after a final round of negotiations with the bank association failed to resolve the deadlock. ATM security guards will also participate in the protest.

“It is now too late for us to go back on our strike call. We had requested the IBA to come up with a better offer than the mere two per cent hike offer made earlier. We also asked the IBA not to delink the wage negotiations for bank officers in the Scales 4-7. The IBA did not do anything,” AIBEA General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam told IANS.

Further more he stated that at the conciliation meeting held on Monday, the Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC) had asked the IBA not to raise new controversies like delinking the wage talks for officers in the 4-7 scale.

“Though the CLC tried its best to sort out the strike issues, there is no positive developments. Hence strike on May 30 and 31 (Wednesday and Thursday) stands,” All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) General Secretary D.T. Franco told the news agency.

According to Venkatachalam, with regard to the coverage of officers from Scale 4-7 the IBA said it did not get the mandate from six banks as they opted to cover officers up to Scale 3 level. However, 14 banks have given the mandate for covering the officers up to Scale 7 in wage negotiations as was done in the previous wage settlement negotiations, he said.

UBFU Convenor Devidas Tuljapurkar said in the last two-three years, bank employees have worked tirelessly for implementation of government initiatives such as Jan-Dhan, demonetisation, Mudra and Atal Pension Yojana, among others. “It is only because of provisions towards NPAs that banks have booked losses, and for this, bank employees are not responsible,”  Tuljapurkar  added.