New Delhi, Jan 15 : Bank unions have called for a strike on the days of the Economic Survey and the Budget – January 31 and February 1 respectively – after their talks for a wage hike with the Indian Banks Association failed, bank employees unions said on Wednesday.
The Economic Survey will be presented on January 31 and the Union Budget will be presented on February 1.
C H Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA, told IANS: “We have called for a strike on January 31, February 1, March 12, 13 and 14 and indefinite strike from April 1. We have negotiated with the IBA for two and a half years. Last time they said the hike could be 10 per cent and now they are suggesting that the increase in wages to be 12.25 per cent whereas our demand is a 20 per cent hike. They should see that the inflation has gone up, bank employees are loaded with work, recovery of NPAs is happening.”
He said the IBA has adopted a very rigid approach in resolving the prolonged wage revision demands during the bipartite talks held on January 13 and the UFBU (United Forum of Bank Unions), which represents nine trade unions, has decided to launch the agitations and strikes to highlight our demands.
UFBU is an umbrella body of nine Bank unions AIBEA, AIBOC, NCBE, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF, INBOC, NOBW and NOBO.
According to an UFBU statement, the demands are 20 per cent wage revision, 5-day banking, merger of special allowances with basic pay, scrap new pension scheme, updation of pensions and improvement of family pensions, exemption from income tax of retiral benefits without ceiling, introduction of Leave Bank and equal wage for equal work for contract employees and business correspondents.
Banking services were affected last week as bank employees had joined a bank strike in several parts of India on January 8. Several public sector bank services were also hit after around five lakh employees joined a strike by CITU which was a nationwide Bharat Bandh. Banking services cash withdrawal and deposits, cheque clearances were hit at several bank branches.