Bank unions call 2-day strike from 30 May over 'meagre' pay hike

Public sector bank employees have threatened to go on a nation-wide two-day strike from 30 May against what they call "a meagre" 2-per cent hike offered by the management body, Indian Banks' Association (IBA).

The 48-hour strike is to seek the government's intervention in wages and other matters. The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), comprising nine trade unions across the country representing one million bank employees and officers, will also hold demonstrations and submit a memorandum to the finance minister prior to the strike.
The strike is being called to oppose the IBA’s “delay” in resolving demands, the government's “casual approach” to wage revision for bank employees and officers, and the IBA's meagre offer.
It would be demanding expeditious and early wage revision settlement, an adequate increase in salary and improvement in other service conditions and wage revision settlement to include all officers up to Scale VII.
The organisations calling for the strike, under the umbrella of UFBU, include All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC), National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW), and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).
During the negotiations held on 5 May, IBA made two “unacceptable” propositions including an offer of 2 per cent hike in the wage bill cost as on 31 March 2017, UFBU said in a statement.
The negotiations on officers’ demands would be restricted up to Scale III only, AIBEA general secretary C H Vekatachalam told PTI.
In the last wage revision, IBA provided an increment of 15 per cent.
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.
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 5 May 2018.
This shows that the government is also not serious about early wage settlement in the banks, he said.
The last wage settlement was signed for the period from between 1 November 2012, to 31 October 2017.
The Negotiation Committee of IBA held negotiations with the Unions five times from May 2017 to October and held discussions with the sub-committees of workers' unions and officers' associations till November 2017, but avoided the wage revision, alleged the strike notice serviced by the unions.