Calls for a strike by bank employee unions, coupled with public holidays, are likely to cripple financial transactions across the country between December 21 to 26. Apart from December 24, banking services are likely to be affected on December 21 and 26 as the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) and All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC) have threatened to go on strike to protest against the merger of three PSBs, respectively.
The banks will remain closed on December 22 and 23 on account of fourth Saturday and Sunday respectively and on December 25 in view of Christmas, a national holiday.
Citing the reasons behind the strike, AIBOC Assistant General Secretary Sajay Das said, “We called the strike on December 21 demanding full and unconditional mandate for the XIth bipartite wage revision talks based on a charter of demands submitted in May 2017. No headway has been made in the process so far even after 19 months since the discussion on wage revision began.”
Around 3.2 lakh officers are expected to participate in the strike.
Besides this, the union is also opposing a move to restrict the salary settlements of only up to Scale III by citing non-receipt of the ‘unconditional mandates’ from five banks. However, 15 banks from the public sector and two private banks have already given ‘unconditional mandates’.
“The burning issue of the announcement proposing to merge three public sector banks – Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank — and the consolidation of Regional Rural Banks will also be raked up during the protests,” AIBOC West Bengal unit President Subhujyoti Chattopadahyay said.
“AIBOC believes that it is nothing but a farcical logic to restrict the wage negotiations up to the officers in scale III whereas the entire officer community is covered under unified Service Regulations,” a statement said.