The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) has deferred the June 24 strike after talks with the State Bank of India (SBI) management, arbitrated by chief labour commissioner, failed. Vishwas Utagi, vice-president, AIBEA, said the union has written to the finance ministry to step in.
“We have decided to defer the strike after talks with SBI management did not yield any result. They did not agree to our demand of delinking SBI subsidiaries from the SBI Act,” Utagi told FE. He said the unions have met the chief labour commissioner thrice since they announced the strike on June 4, but the SBI has not agreed to their demands.
“The strikes can happen if the finance ministry meeting is also unsuccessful,” he said.
Bank unions had called for a nationwide strike on June 24 demanding that the associate banks be delinked from the SBI Act and allowed to function under the Banking Regulation Act. SBI subsidiaries include State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Patiala.
“We demand the delinking of five associate banks from the SBI Act. Of late, we have found that the government and SBI want to absorb associate banks into the parent. We want these banks out of SBI ambit,” Utagi had said, adding that since SBI had brought all its subsidiaries under the same technology platform, it now wanted to standardise the human resources policies as well so that the merger could be done smoothly.
“The employees of SBI subsidiaries want separate HR policies from SBI and also do not want SBI’s career progression imposed on them,” Utagi had said.