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Bank Strike on January 31 and February 1, Clashes with Budget Day

Bank Strike on January 31 and February 1, Clashes with Budget Day
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UFBU has threatened to hold another three-day strike from March 11-13, followed by an indefinite strike from April 1, if their demands are not met.

After the failure of wage revision talks with the Indian Banks' Association (IBA), today bank employees' unions called for a two-day national bank strike on January 31 and February 1. This month, it would be the second bank strike, the first one was observed on January 8 along with Bharat Bandh.

The schedule of this bank strike is crucial because it overlaps with Budget day. On January 31 the Economic Survey will be presented, and on February 1 Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be presenting her second Budget. As February 1 is the first Saturday of the month, on the Budget day, all commercial banks should be open. For Budget, stock exchanges have decided to open.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) which represents nine trade unions held bilateral talks on Monday with the IBA in which several wage-related demands were turned down. Bank unions are demanding a 20% hike on payslip components, blend of special allowance with basic pay and 5-day working days in a week. Other demands are the elimination of the New Pension Scheme, improvement in family pension and distinct working hours for officers.

"After discussing the financial offers of IBA amongst the constituents, UFBU expressed its inability to accept the same. Thereafter UFBU meeting was held as scheduled, and decisions were taken to launch agitations and Strike actions," UFBU general secretary Debasish Basu Chaudhury said.

UFBU has threatened to hold one more three-day strike from March 11-13, followed by an indefinite strike from April 1 if their demands of salary hike are not fulfilled. Calling it "unacceptable", United Forum of Bank Unions State convenor Siddartha Khan said, "From April 1, we have decided to go on an indefinite strike."

Along with the wage-related issues, bank unions are also protesting against the Narendra Modi government for merging several PSU banks.Bank Strike, Bank Unions, Indian Bank Association

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