Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bank staff to strike on June 12

The talks between the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) and the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) over the issue of wage revision for the bank employees, held in Mumbai on Monday, remained inconclusive again over the quantum of hike acceptable to both.

Protesting about the development, the bank unions have decided to go on a day-long nationwide strike on June 12 which would be followed by a two-day strike in July the dates for which were yet to be finalised, a source familiar with the developments.

The negotiating committee of the IBA,which is headed by the Union Bank of India CMD MV Nair, was present on behalf of the IBA during the meeting .

While the IBA has revised its offer of increasing the wages of the bank employees to 15% from its earlier existing offer of 13.09% as part of the ongoing nineth bipartite talks, the bank union leaders think that the IBA's offer was far below their expectation of 25% and hence rejected the offer. The 15% offer means it would put a burden to the extent of Rs 4,125 crore on the banking industry. However, the bank union leaders are adamant on their charter of demands that they have already submitted before the IBA.

The other offer from the IBA which was also outrightly rejected by the bank union leaders during the talk was the implementation of the New Pension Scheme (NPS) for the fresh bank employees who will be joining after nineth bipartite wage negotiation.

The union leaders' contention was that NPS is not a pension scheme at all. Rather, it is a mutual fund operated and market-oriented investment scheme, hence it can't be termed as a social pension scheme. Also, the bank union leaders are demanding the implementation of one more option for pension for those 2,70,000 bank employees that could not avail themselves of the offer when it was first offered by the banks during early nineties.

Not to mention that the bank unions have already agreed to share 25% of the cost in case the second option of pension was implemented.

The source added that the unions are satisfied with the way the mass recruitment has been undertaken by the public sector banks despite the ongoing economic slowdown in the country.

Recruitment of permanent staff in the banks was one of the prominent demands of the unions, which was accepted by the bank managements during the early stage of negotiations. As more as 30,000 fresh bank employees are under the process of joining the banks currently. However, unions are opposing the outsourcing of activities like cash remittance and currency chests.

Source : Yahoo Finance.

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