New Delhi: Almost 9 lakh employees of public sector banks along with a few private banks have gone on a two-day strike from Thursday demanding higher wages and pension.
In what is likely to make the matters worse 24 private banks' employees have also threatened to join the strike demanding better pay.
While leading private banks ICICI and HDFC Bank employees are not joining the strike, but employees of Catholic Syrian Bank, HSBC and Lakshmi Vilas Bank have joined the agitation for better pay.
The PSU bank staff is going on strike as talks between the Indian Banks Association (IBA) and United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the apex body of bank employees, failed two months ago over the quantum of pay hike.
Employees wanted 20 per cent pay hike while IBA is willing to raise it by 17.5 per cent.
IBA later reduced its offer to 15 per cent at Central Government's behest.
The association had earlier reduced the offer to a wage hike of 13 per cent and also came up with a new proposal on the pension front in respect of the provident fund optees who want to switch to the existing pension scheme.
Employees justify their demands by saying that banks have been making huge profits. They have already rejected IBA's 'all or nothing' package offer.
The wage revision of PSU staff is due from November 2007.