Demanding immediate wage revision and protesting merger of the state-owned banks, a union of public sector bank officers has called for a strike on December 26. The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of the top nine bank unions, has called for strike on December 26. According to several media reports, most of the banks have already informed their customers about the strike and its impact on banking operation.
The strike call is expected to hit banking operations across the country. However, private sector banks are not part of the strike and would continue their usual business.
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Taking into account these two days of unions’ strike and other holidays, banks would be closed for most of the extended Christmas weekend. Therefore, 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.
UFBU is a consortium of nine unions in the banking sector and is opposed to the merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank, the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) had said earlier. AIBEA and the NOBW are constituents of UFBU.
AIBOC joint general secretary Ravinder Gupta told PTI, “We have demanded wage revision based on the minimum wages formula without linking to profits or paying capacity.”
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On wages, unions are demanding a hike of 25 per cent, increment for all bank employees under scale 1 to 7 and rejection of the proposal to introduce variable pay. However, Indian Banks’ Association has offered this only to those employees in junior scale of 1 to 3. Reportedly, 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 and as the allocated funds would be the agreed percentage of total pay slip components of up to scale III in respect of those banks which have given mandate and not the pay slip components of the entire industry of all the cadres including workmen, Gupta said.