Bank employee unions have announced a series of agitations, including a two-day strike – on January 31 and February 1 – in order to press their demands. The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the umbrella organisation of various bank employee unions, also declared that they would go on an indefinite strike from April 1 if the demands are not met.
The Union Budget for FY21 is scheduled to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1 and the Unions’ decision to hold the strike on that may result in the operations of the banks impacted on that day.
A circular issued by UFBU on Wednesday said that the unanimous decision to intensify agitation was taken after talks with Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) failed.
The major demands include wage revision settlement at 20 per cent hike on pay slip components; five day banking; merger of special allowance with basic pay; scrapping of New Pension Scheme(NPS); updation of pension; improvement in family pension; allocation to staff welfare fund based on operating profits; exemption from income tax on retiral benefits without ceiling; uniform definition of business hours, lunch hour, etc. in branches; introduction of leave bank; defined working hours for officers; and equal wage for equal work for contract employees/business correspondents.
After the two-day strike, it is planning to hold a three-day strike from March 11 to 13 and indefinite strike from April 1 onwards. It has also announced plans for demonstrations, signature campaigns and poster displays among other protest methods from January 20, 2020 to April 1, 2020.
UFBU consists of nine bank unions including All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) among others.