Bank employees may go on strike for two days later this month. A 48-hour strike by over 10 lakh bankers – employees of state-run and private sector banks – will be called by the end of May if the government does not ask the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to make an improved offer, news agency IANS cited All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C H Venkatachalam as saying. AIBEA is a trade union of bank employees. “If the Finance Ministry does not intervene to make the IBA to make their improved offer, it has been decided to call for a 48-hour continuous strike by end of this month,” Mr Venkatachalam said.
Here are 10 things to know:
- Wage revision talks between the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) and IBArepresenting various banks held in Mumbai on Saturday ended in a failure, according to the news agency. UFBU is an umbrella body of bank unions including All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI). (Also read: Bank FD interest rates)
- “The initial offer of the Indian Banks Association was meagre which was totally rejected by the constituents of the United Forum of Bank Unions…Bank employees and officers are already paid very low compared with the Government employees as well as the private sector,” IANS had cited All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) General Secretary D T Franco as saying on Saturday, after wage revision talks between IBA and UFBU failed.
- Wage revision for bankers is due from November 1, 2017, after the previous settlement expired on October 31, 2017.
- UFBU had in March this year requested the Ministry of Finance to interfere in the wage revision matter. In a letter to the ministry dated March 21, UFBU Convenor Sanjeev K Bandlish had written: “…Several rounds of negotiations have taken place but IBA has not come forward to make their offer. In fact, even discussions have not taken place for the past four or five months. Thus the negotiations are virtually deadlocked and resentment is brewing amongst the employees and officers about the delay in the negotiations and settlement.”
- The IBA offered an increase of 2 per cent over the total wage bill of the banks as on March 31, 2017, which was rejected by the unions, Mr Venkatachalam said.
- “It is a matter of shame that while thousands of crores of rupees are written off from profits towards bad loans of big corporates, the genuine demands of bank employees are being denied in this fashion,” he further said on Sunday.
- The bulk of the non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans worth Rs. 9.5 lakh crore as of end-2017 were with the country’s state-run banks.
- Stricter rules enforced by the Reserve Bank of India in February are set to push the industry’s non-performing loans even higher. (Also read: Infra lending may take a back seat, say bankers)
- In the last 10th Bipartite Wage Settlement that was made effective from November 1, 2012, IBA had agreed for a hike of 15 per cent increase over the total wage bill.
- While the government had asked the IBA to conclude the wage revision settlement before November 1, 2017, the latter has been delaying, the agency cited Mr Venkatachalam as saying on Sunday.