The two major unions in the banking sector - All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) and All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA) - on Friday announced sector-wide strike on December 27 in support of wage revision in IDBI Bank.
In a joint statement issued here, the two unions said they have been taking up the matter repeatedly with IDBI Bank management and with the central government but the matter is dragging on endlessly.
Hence it has been decided to give a call for all-India strike in all the banks on December 27.
Newsclick spoke to AIBEA's General Secretary, CH Venkatachalam who said that they are trying to deal with this issue very patiently and termed the wage disparity as 'discriminatory and vindictive'.
"The Indian Bank's Association say that the number of bad loans is greater in IDBI. But that is only because most of our loan defaulters are big corporate houses," he said and added, "The government is allowing the corporates to escape and is punishing the bank employees for this."
According to a statement from AIBEA and AIBOA, the wage revision for IDBI Bank employees was due on 1.11.2012. But since there was no hike, the IDBI Bank employees went on two-day strike in October demanding revision of wages.
When asked if there was any other way to resolve the dispute, Venkatachalam said that they are more than willing to talk with the authorities and settle. "It is not reasonable to not have a wage revision endlessly. Since the other banks got a 15% hike, we would be satisfied with a similar settlement," he said.
However, if the government does not talk, then they would be forced to further intensify the strike. "This strike will be a disruption of the banking industry for a day and if the government is not ready to talk then we will continue to have protests like this," said Venkatachalam.
Meanwhile, the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has also decided to extend support for the December 27 strike. The UFBU is an umbrella body of nine unions in the Indian banking sector.