New Delhi: After banking services were left crippled today due to a strike by bank officers, another employees’ union has called for a second strike next week. Banks will remain closed for the next two days on account of holidays, open on Monday, close on Tuesday for Christmas and then again shut down for the strike on Wednesday.
Today’s bank strike, called by the All-India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), was supported by around 3.2 lakh officers from various public sector banks who are demanding a wage hike and protesting against the merger of three state-run banks — Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda.
However, private banks were unaffected today’s strike.
The other strike, called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), is also meant to protest against the merger. The AIBOC is also part of the UFBU, which is an umbrella body of nine unions. The timing of the two strikes is such that most banks are likely to be closed for five out of six days during the extended Christmas weekend. The impact of Wednesday’s strike will be more wider as even private sector bank employees are expected to join the shutdown.
The union also wants A the wage revision, which is pending since November 1, 2017, for employees from scale 1-7. Bank managements have mandated the industry lobby Indian Bank Association (IBA) to negotiate for scale 1-3.
“The IBA is also not coming forward to structure the 11th bipartite wage negotiations based on our charter of demands by discussing the wage revision for officers from scale 1-7 and also based on the concept of minimum wages as envisaged in the Sseventh Central Ppay Ccommission report," AIBOC general secretary Soumya Datta said.
He said after 13 months of negotiations between the unions and IBA, the latter haD offered a wage revision of just 8% just percent. In the PREVIOUS past wage settlement, which was for the period November 1, 2012, to October 31, 2017, the employees secured got a 15% hike.