Bank employees to strike work Aug 5

August 1st, 2011 - 7:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Aug 1 (IANS) The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), comprising nine banking sector unions, Monday announced its decision to strike work Aug 5 as the conciliation talks held in New Delhi between the unions and Indian Banks Association (IBA) did not make any headway.

“We are going ahead with our strike even though another round of conciliation talks has been fixed for Aug 3. I do not think any miracle would happen to make the IBA and the government change their stance,” UFBU convenor C.H. Venkatachalam told IANS over phone from New Delhi.

In response to the strike notice served on IBA by the UFBU, a conciliation meeting was held in New Delhi in the office of the chief labour commissioner Monday.

Representatives of the UFBU as well as the IBA were present at the meeting.

Venkatachalam said the union representatives explained their demands in detail and urged the chief labour commissioner to intervene for settling the issues.

According to a statement issued by UFBU Monday: “IBA submitted their counter-response to our demands and virtually rejected our demands saying that some of the issues like compassionate appointment scheme, uniform staff housing loan scheme and others are pending consideration by the government and many of the issues raised by UFBU are policy matters of the government.”

The statement said the chief labour commissioner, while deferring the conciliation meeting for Aug 3, exhorted the IBA and the unions to explore the possibility to find solutions to the issues by bilateral talks at least on those issues where IBA can take decisions.

“Going by today’s proceedings, it is clear that the IBA and government are not taking our issues seriously and hence UFBU decided to go ahead with the strike call,” UFBU said.

The UFBU had earlier planned to strike work July 7 but decided to postpone it to Aug 5 when Parliament will be in session.

Venkatachalam said that around 10 lakh state-run, private sector and foreign bank employees will go on strike to protest disinvestment by the government in public sector banks, mergers and acquisitions and outsourcing of routine activities in addition to other demands.

Venkatachalam said the banks have to recruit freshers to manage large scale retirements predicted in the nationalised banks.

“Around five lakh employees will be retiring over the next five year period. Already, around 150,000 vacancies have to be filled up. We demand revival of the Banking Service Recruitment Board (BSRB) for hiring freshers,” he said.

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