Employees strike to hit banking operations today
22 October 2019
A 24-hour strike called by All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) is likely to hit operations of five-six large PSU banks, including State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Allahabad Bank, United Commercial Bank and United Bank of India
About 3.5 lakh bank employees belonging to the two unions will be on strike to protest mergers of government banks, said a top leader of AIBEA, even as the IBA appealed to the unions not to go ahead with the strike.
In a joint circular to their members, the two unions, however, said the IBA could not come out to resolve any of the demands raised by the employees.
"Members of AIBEA and BEFI will be on strike on Tuesday across the country. Other unions in the industry are extending their support for the strike," reports cited AIBEA general secretary C.H.Venkatachalam as saying.
The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the umbrella body of the unions in the banking sector, seems to be divided on the issue.
Meanwhile, the conciliation meeting called by Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), ministry of labour was attended by representatives of the AIBEA, the BEFI, the finance ministry and the Indian Banks' Association (IBA).
"We made a detailed written submission about the justification for our strike call. In the absence of any positive outcome in the meeting, it has been decided to go ahead with the strike. Hence our call for strike stands," the unions said.
The AIBEA is considered close to the Congress party affiliate All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), BEFI is affiliated to CPM’s Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU).
In a big relief for bank customers, these two unions don’t have a significant presence in India’s largest public sector bank – State Bank of India.