One-day Strike in Banks Deferred as Lenders’ Association Agrees to Initiate Negotiations
New Delhi: The pan-India bank strike, called for one day on June 27, has been deferred, a union leader said on Thursday, after the lender’s association agreed to initiate negotiations on non-financial demands concerning bank employees and officers across the country.
In another round of conciliation meetings between the bank unions and officials of the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), held on Thursday in Delhi in the presence of the Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC), the latter agreed to commence negotiations from July 1, CH Venkatachalam, national general secretary, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), said in a statement after the meeting.
“Hence it is decided to defer our agitation and strike on June 27,” he added.
The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), a nine-member umbrella body of bank unions, has earlier given a nationwide call to strike for one day to press, among others, for a five-day work, restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) and updation of the pension amount for retirees.
Currently, the second and fourth Saturday of every month is an off day for all bank employees, while direct benefits under the OPS have been discontinued for staff who joined after April 2010.
The IBA officials agreed to start negotiations on “all our demands,” Venkatachalam told NewsClick in a telephone conversation on Thursday. Since negotiations will begin, it was decided to defer the strike action, for now, he added.
Around 10 lakh bank employees and officers were expected to join the strike, which was called after the union leaders flayed the IBA, a representative body of the management of state-owned banks and financial institutions in the country, for sitting over their demands for many years now.
NewsClick has earlier reported on how the “residual and pending issues” of the bank unions forced them to call for strike action. According to union leaders, these issues have been raised multiple times by the unions during the conventional wage negotiation talks, but to no avail.
The postponement of the strike action on Thursday also came after an earlier round of talks between the union leaders and lenders’ association officials failed, as the latter reportedly had declined to give any firm commitment to resolve bank union demands within a set timeline.
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