Bank unions that have been demanding a 19.5% wage hike have also sought a five-day week working structure from the Indian Banks’ Association, Vishwas Utagi, convenor, Maharashtra, for the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) told FE.
The wage negotiations failed on Tuesday after the IBA raised it final offer by 50 basis points to 13% and asked the unions to lower their demand from 19.5%.
Owing to this deadlock, bank unions have decided to go on a four-day strike from February 25-28 and, if that fails to change the situation, around 10 lakh bank employees will go on an indefinite strike from March 16.
Utagi said though IBA has not yet committed to implementing a five-day week, they have had a discussion with the unions on it. “Since other financial organisations like LIC and RBI have a five-day week, bank employees have also demanded a similar working structure with regulated working hours,” Utagi said. At present, banks work on till 2 pm on Saturdays and have holiday on Sundays.
He added that another demand was to commence the recruitment process of around 3 lakh vacancies in the banking sector through the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) exams.
“We want the government to take stock of the situation during the forthcoming strike as the Union Budget will be announced on February 28, the final day of our strike,” he said, adding that they would send memorandums to the finance ministry and RBI stating their demands.