Public sector banks to remain closed due to strike on Dec 26

Working of public sector banks will be affected on Wednesday. Public sector bank employees’ union has called for a strike on Wednesday against Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank’s proposed merger in Bank of Baroda. This is the second bank strike in less than a week. The union of the bank officials had staged a strike on Friday (December 21) for the proposed mergers and negotiations on redemption of the paycheck to a quick conclusion. Most banks have already given information about the strike to their customers. Working in private sector banks will be like normal days.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has called for a strike. UFBU is the organization of nine bank unions. These include Unions of All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE) and National Organization of Bank Workers (NOBW) etc. UFBU claims that the number of its members is more than 10 lakh.
AIBEA Secretary General C. H. Venkatachalam said that the Additional Chief Labor Commissioner had convened a meeting for reconciliation, but there was no solution from that. That is why all unions have decided to go on strike. He said that during the meeting both the government and the concerned banks did not give the assurance that they would not take steps for the merger. Unions claimed that the government wants to increase the size of the banks through merger, but if all the public sector banks in the country are merged together, even after the merger, the entity which comes into existence will not get place in the top ten banks of the world.

In September, the government had announced the merger of public sector Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank in Bank of Baroda. This will bring the country’s third largest bank into existence. Ashwani Rana, vice-president, National Organization of Bank Workers, on pay revision said, “Salary revision is pending from November 2017. So far, the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has offered an 8% increase in salaries, which is not acceptable to UFBU.

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