Bank unions threaten month-long agitation as wage talks with IBA fail again

After IBA rejected the union's call for steeper wage hikes, the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has said it will adopt multi-pronged agitational methods from the middle of next month to press for their demands.

The IBA rejected the call for updating about 5 lakh pension accounts, citing the high cost involved, while the IBA stuck to the 11 percent salary hike offered at the previous meetings

The agitational programmes include wearing black badges on October 10, nationwide demonstrations on October 17, and sit-ins at all state capitals between October 18 and 31, which will be followed by one-day nationwide strike, for which the date will be decided later.

UFBU leaders had met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Delhi on June 26 and had sought his intervention for early settlement wage revision.

General secretaries of nine employee unions under the umbrella of UFBU had presented the case for as much as 25 percent hike in pay slip component.

The UFBU comprises five workers unions--AIBEA, NCBE, BEFI, INBEF and NOBW-- and four officer associations of AIBOC, AIBOA, INBOC and NOBO.

The wage revision of public sector bank employees has been due since November 2012. In the last round of wage revision settlement signed in 2010 for 2007-12, the management had agreed to 17.5 percent raise in total salary.

Unions had gone on a two-day nation-wide strike in February to press for their demands. Citing high inflation, they had rejected the management's offer of a 10 percent hike in the cash component of the pay package, which was improved to 11 percent after the two days nationwide strike.

The 27 public sector banks have a combined employee strength of about 8 lakh.

(Source - PTI)