One million Indian bank workers go on strike
Union representatives have claimed that around one million bank employees across India are on strike to demand better pay and bank reform.
The two-day strike, which ends today, has seen thousands of bank branches – both public sector and commercial – close shop.
Workers have expressed their displeasure with a proposed pay raise of 2%, which is below the country’s inflation rate of 4.5%.
The striking employees are also calling for a government crackdown on companies that do not pay back loans. India’s banks are weighed down by mountains of bad loans, reportedly worth more than US$120 billion. These bad debts are some of the highest carried by lenders in the world’s emerging markets.
"We have been consistently demanding that the government should come down heavily against those big corporates (who default on payments). Without which Indian banking cannot be revived," Devidas Tuljapurkar of the United Forum of Bank Unions told AFP.
It is big corporates who are attributable for losses to the banks. But for no fault on their part ordinary employees and officers are being denied their due share in profits," he added.