Bank associations call for strike

Bank associations call for strike
Highlights

A union of public sector bank officers has called for a strike on Friday, demanding immediate wage revision and protesting merger of the stateowned banks The strike call given by the All India Bank Officers Confederation AIBOC expected to hit banking operations across the country However, private sector banks would continue their usual business as they are not part of the strike Most of th

Chennai: A union of public sector bank officers has called for a strike on Friday, demanding immediate wage revision and protesting merger of the state-owned banks. The strike call given by the All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) expected to hit banking operations across the country. However, private sector banks would continue their usual business as they are not part of the strike. Most of the banks have already informed their customers about the strike and its impact on their normal banking operation.

In another development, Bank associations the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and AIBOC have given call for a strike on December 26 protesting against the merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank as also demanding immediate wage revision.

Taking into account these two days of unions' strike and other holidays, banks would be closed for most of the extended Christmas weekend. So, most bank branches will be open only for a day between this Friday and next Wednesday. Till December 26, there are three holidays -- fourth Saturday on December 22, then Sunday and then Christmas on Tuesday. With the failure of conciliation talks, about 10 lakh bankers in private and government banks will go on strike on December 26 protesting against the merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank, the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) said on Thursday.

"During the conciliation meeting held in Delhi today (Thursday), the Additional Chief Labour Commissioner advised the three banks and IBA (Indian Banks Association) to hold negotiations with the unions and convey the Union's concerns to the government," AIBEA General Secretary C H Venkatachalam, said.

"No assurance came from either IBA or the government. Hence the conciliation talks failed and the December 26 strike stands," Venkatachalam added. The AIBEA is part of the nine unions in the banking sector under the umbrella body of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU). According to Venkatachalam, the strike was only against the bank mergers and there was no deadlock on the wage revision talks with IBA.

India is largely unbanked or underbanked with low density of banks. Mergers will kill bank branches while the focus should be on recovering the huge outstanding loans, the AIBEA said.The strike call given by the All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) also is expected to hit banking operations across the country. However, private sector banks would continue their usual business as they are not part of the strike. Most of the banks have already informed their customers about the strike and its impact on their normal banking operation. AIBOC joint general secretary Ravinder Gupta said, "We have demanded wage revision based on the minimum wages formula without linking to profits or paying capacity."

As of now many major banks have not given the mandate, few banks have given mandate to IBA for negotiating only upto Scale III officers, said Charanjit deputy general secretary Canara Bank Officers' Association, an affiliate of AIBOC said. Such fractured mandate will be resulting in deep cut of allocated funds meant for distributing among the various heads of pay slip components, Gupta said.

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