After exhausting all the avenues to settle the pending issues amicably, the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), comprising Nine Unions operating in the banking industry, has given a call for country-wide two days strike on 30th and 31st January 2023.
While signing our wage revision settlement in November, 2020, it was agreed by the IBA that the remaining residual issues would be discussed and resolved at the earliest. Minutes were also signed by our unions listing out the various residual issues. But none of the issues has been resolved despite a lapse of more than two years. In this background, UFBU gave a call for strike on 27th June, 2022, demanding resolution of the issues. In the conciliation meeting held by the Chief Labour Commissioner, IBA came forward and agreed to hold discussions with the unions with a view to work out amicable solution to our demands. Hence, it was agreed to defer the strike. After this, only two rounds of discussions took place in July and September, 2022. But the issues and demands remain unresolved.
Charter of demands
In the meantime, since last wage settlement came to an end in October, 2022, fresh Charter of Demands has been submitted to the IBA. On this also, IBA is maintaining total silence. Hence, in the UFBU meeting held in Chennai on 15th December, 2022, it was decided to submit a letter to the IBA urging upon them to hold immediate discussions to resolve the demands, failing which, agitational programmes would have to be revived. But, IBA chose to ignore the communication and there has been no response from the IBA for the past one month. In view of this, a meeting of UFBU was held on 12th January 2023 at Mumbai to review and take necessary decisions. After deliberations and discussions, the meeting unanimously decided to revive and relaunch our agitational programmes.
Further there is acute shortage of staff in most of the branches in all the cadres and the bank managements are not recruiting adequate number of staff to fill up these vacancies. With the result, the existing employees and officers are forced with heavy workload leading to frustration and demotivation of the workforce.
Keeping the above in mind, the meeting decided to revive our agitational programmes and resort to All India Strike in all the banks on 30th and 31st January, 2023, on the following demands.
1. Introduction of 5 banking days a week.
2. Updation of Pension for past retirees.
3. Resolution of residual issues.
4. Adequate recruitment in all cadres to ensure better customer service.
5. Scrap New Pension Scheme and restore Old Pension Scheme.
6. Immediate commencement of negotiations on Charter of Demands for wage revision.
The preparatory programmes include demonstrations in all the centres on 20th, 24th and 27th January 2023 besides badge wearing, display of posters etc. The employees and officers are forced to resort to agitations and strikes pressing genuine demands. IBA and the Union Government must come forward to settle the demands without further loss of time.