Banks on nationwide strike on Wednesday, services likely to be affected
Services of banks are likely to be affected on Wednesday due to a nationwide strike call given by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) to protest against bank mergers and pay revision.
The strike is likely to affect the country's banking sector. It has been called to oppose the amalgamation of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank by the consortium of nine unions in the banking sector which includes the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW).
"10 lakh bank employees and officers of the 21 public sector banks, old generation private banks and foreign banks under the banner of the UFBU will join the one-day strike on December 26 against merger of public sector banks and wage revision of bank employees," NOBW Vice President Ashwani Rana was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Tuesday.
On wages, the unions are demanding a hike of 25 per cent, increment for all bank employees under scale 1 to 7 (instead of the IBA's offer to only those employees in junior scale of 1 to 3) and rejection of the proposal to introduce variable pay.
Though wage revision in state-run banks happens every five years, it may be difficult for them to raise wages substantially as high NPAs and losses have hurt the sector.
"Bank employees wage revision is due since November 1, 2017. So far the IBA (Indian Banks' Association) has offered 8 per cent wage hike which is not acceptable to the United Forum of Bank Unions," he said.
According to Rana, the Additional Labour Commissioner had called a conciliation meeting on December 20 to wade off the strike.
"The United Forum of Bank Unions served a strike notice to the Indian Bank Association and the MDs of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank on merger of these banks. Since there was no assurance by the IBA on stopping the merger of these three banks and fresh offer on wage revision, the UFBU decided to go ahead with the strike on December 26," Ranan said.
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