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Bank employees’ unions to go on nationwide strike on January 7

Bank employees’ unions have decided go on a day-long strike on January 7 across the country to press for a wage hike.

Bank unions have also threatened to go on strike on multiple days later this month if their demand is not accepted. “We want early conclusion of the 10th bipartite wage negotiation (with IBA) for satisfactory and reasonable wage hike and so we are going on an all-India bank strike on January 7,” United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) Convener Vishwas Utagi said in Mumbai on Thursday.

The UFBU is the umbrella organisation of employee and officer unions of nine banks. The unions have been demanding a wage revision linked to the gross profit of the banks. “Our demand is for a 23% wage hike as against a rise of 11% offered by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA),” Utagi said. IBA is the management body of banks which is carrying out negotiations with the Government and various unions.

UFBU has also demanded withdrawal of an IBA letter to member-banks on visiting their mandates given to the association for unconditional wage negotiation at industry level. IBA, in 2012, had written a letter to all its members asking them to submit a fresh mandate which will allow the body to negotiate bank-wise wage revision and the hike will be linked to the paying capacity of an individual lender.

“We will not allow bank-wise wage revision. We want an industry level negotiation,” Utagi said. Post the January 7 strike, UFBU has decided for a complete shutdown of banking industry from January 21-24. It is also planning an indefinite strike from March 16 over the wage hike issue. The bank employees had gone on a day-long strike on the same issue in November last year. This was followed by a zone-wise strike early last month.

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