The government of India has declared the banking industry as a public utility service for the period of six months till October 21 under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. Bringing banking services under this act means that the banking sector would not see any strikes by the employees or officers during the operation of the law starting from April 21.
As per the report, the employees and officers of the highly unionised banking sector would not be able to stage strike besides certain other activities. In a circular dated April 20, the Department of Financial Services stated that the Ministry of labour and employment has declared the Banking industry as a public utility service for a period of six months with effect from April 21.
Earlier, the notification was issued by the labour ministry on April 17 amid the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic which has significantly impacted economic activities.
Reportedly, the circular of Department of Financial Services’ has been addressed to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor, SBI Chairman, Managing Directors and CEOs of nationalised banks, and the CEO of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).
All public sector banks, old generation private sector banks like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Federal Bank are members of IBA. Banks like HSBC, StanChart and Citibank are also part of it. All of them come under the wage settlements and other employee issues that are taken up by IBA. Meanwhile, the new generation private sector like Kotak Bank, IndusInd Bank and Yes Bank are outside the scope of IBA norms.