Banks open as employees defer two-day strike

February 25th, 2008 - 2:33 pm ICT by admin  


Mumbai/Chennai, Feb 25 (IANS) The All India Bank Officer’s Association (AIBOA) have deferred their two-day strike till Monday afternoon when they will meet the Indian Banks Association (IBA). S. Nagarajan, deputy general secretary of AIBOA, told IANS: “The strike has been deferred as bank employees sensed an indication from the IBA to resolve the issue.”

IBA said that the strike, scheduled Monday and Tuesday, had been called off.

Nagarajan said they would decide whether to go on strike or call it off only after the meeting with the IBA.

Last month this time, bank employees went on a day’s strike over the same issues.

Bank employees are agitating for another option for bankers to join the pension scheme, ban on outsourcing of banking activity and stopping merger of banks. They are also demanding the lifting of the freeze on new recruitment in the banking sector.

“Merger of branches deprives people of banking avenues. Presently on an average one bank branch caters to 16,000 customers. This figure should be bought down to half,” Nagarajan said.

Nearly 50 percent of India’s population is outside the banking net and they could not get banking facilities if branches are merged or closed down, Nagarajan said.

R. Desikan, trustee of Consumers’ Association of India in Chennai, said: “Both the parties - bank management and the employee unions - should sit and sort out the matter instead of procrastinating”.

K. Srinivasan, managing director, Prime Point Public Relations in Chennai and a former leader in a bank officer’s union, said: “In the past employee unions used to mobilise customer sympathy first towards their cause and go on strike. The public sympathy forced the managements to accede to the unions’ demands.

“Today the common man will support the management. A strike call will actually boomerang against the bank unions.”

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