By C H Venkatachalam
Ten Lakh bank employees are to go on 48-hour continued strike on May 30 and 31, 2018, against the meagre offer of wage hike for the bank employees.
Bank employees and officers’ wage revision is due since November 11, 2017. Finance Ministry had advised Bank managements and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to complete the discussions well in advance and release the revised wages with effect from November 1, 2017. Even though the discussions between Indian Banks’ Association and Bank Unions started in May, 2017 and several rounds of discussions have taken place, IBA was not coming forward to make any offer of wage revision. Hence Unions gave the call for strike on March 15, 2018. Since IBA offered to re-commence the talks, the strike was deferred. In this background another round of discussions between IBA and Bank Unions took place on May 5, 2018 at Mumbai.
During the discussions, the IBA offered an increase of two percent over the total wage bill of the Banks as on March 31, 2017. Under the last 10th Bipartite Wage Settlement that was made effective from 1-11-2012, IBA had agreed for a hike of 15 percent increase over the total wage Bill. Hence the Unions felt that this offer of IBA was too meager and did not make any basis for further negotiations. Hence the Unions outrightly rejected this meager offer of two percent hike.
It is regrettable that while the government has been asking the IBA to conclude the wage revision settlement before November 1, 2017, the IBA has been delaying the same and the present meager offer shows that IBA is not serious and they do not want any meaningful negotiations or to conclude the wage settlement early.
In view of this, it has been decided to take up the issue with the finance ministry immediately for their intervention. There was also a call given to organise massive demonstrations by bank employees all over the country on May 9, 2018. Lakhs took part in the demonstrations in all parts of the country.
It is a matter of shame that while thousands of crores of rupees are written off from the profits towards bad loans of big corporate companies, the genuine demands of bank employees are being denied in this fashion. (IPA Service)