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NEW DELHI: The bank employees across the country will observe a nation-wide strike for two days starting May 30 in order to protest against low hike offered by the management body. Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) offered the employees ‘a meagre’ two per cent increment. This led them to raise their voice demanding the government’s intervention in wage revision.
During the negotiations held on May 5, IBA made two unacceptable propositions. First, it offered a two per cent hike in the wage bill cost as on March 31, 2017, United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) said in a statement. On the contrary, IBA, in the last wage revision, had provided an increment of 15 per cent.
Second, the management adamantly maintained that the negotiations on officers demands would be restricted up to Scale III only, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C H Vekatachalam told PTI.
United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) is an umbrella body of nine unions, including All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW).
Ahead of the strike, UFBU that consists of nine trade unions representing one million bank employees of the country will hold demonstrations and submit a memorandum to the Union Finance Minister.
AIBOC joint general secretary Ravinder Gupta also questioned the rationale of this meagre hike at a time when inflation is uncontrolled.
“When prices go up unabated, can wages be depressed. Is it fair to deny reasonable wage increase?” Gupta said.
NOBW vice president Ashwani Rana said unions also demanded that all scales or grades of officers should be included in the wage revision as has been the practice since 1979.
Unions also demanded that as advised by the government, the IBA should complete the process without further delay, Rana said.
Vekatachalam said the government is also aware that despite their repeated letters, there is no progress in the negotiations and no offer was made to the Unions till the meeting held on May 5, 2018.
This shows that the government is also not serious about early wage settlement in the banks, he said.
“It is unfortunate that when the government wants and expects bank employees and officers to extend all co-operation to implement all the schemes of the government through the banks when it comes to the legitimate demands for a reasonable and fair increase in wages, the government is not paying serious attention,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)