Sigh of relief as bank strike called off

February 25th, 2008 - 12:52 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai/Chennai, Feb 25 (IANS) The calling off of the two day bank strike by the unions led to a sigh of relief from the common man Monday. The Indian Banks’ Association confirmed that the strike, scheduled Monday and Tuesday, had been called off.

Terming the earlier strike announcement as `economic terrorism’, R. Desikan, trustee, Consumers’ Association of India, Chennai said: “Both the parties - bank management and the employee unions - should sit and sort out the matter instead of procrastinating”.

He faults both the bank management and the employee unions for prolonging the dispute.

Coming down heavily on the bank unions for going on strike on Fridays or Mondays or in conjunction with other holidays, Desikan nevertheless agrees with the unions on the issue of recruitment on compassionate grounds.

K. Srinivasan, managing director, Prime Point Public Relations and a former leader in a bank officer’s union, says: “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.”

Meanwhile the issues on which the strike was called are still live - another option for bankers to join the pension scheme, ban on outsourcing of banking activity and stopping merger of banks.

“One has to see how the management and the unions come to an understanding. Whether they will solve the matter amicably or both would turn `economic terrorists’ holding the country to ransom is to be seen,” Srinivasan remarked.

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