A bank strike has been called by a union of public sector bank officers today, demanding immediate wage revision and opposing the merger of the state-owned banks. The strike call given by the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) expected to hit banking operations across the country. However, private sector banks would continue their usual business as they are not part of the strike. Most of the banks have already informed their customers about the strike and its impact on their normal banking operation. The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of the top nine bank unions, has also decided to observe a strike on December 26 against the proposed merger Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank. The bank unions feel that the mergers of these three banks will lead to job cuts in the banking sector and allow private sector banks to dominate industry. Taking into account these two days of unions’ strike and other holidays, banks would be closed for most of the extended Christmas weekend. So, most bank branches will be open only for a day between this Friday and next Wednesday.Till December 26, there are three holidays — fourth Saturday on December 22, then Sunday and then Christmas on Tuesday. All India Bank Officers’ Confederation joint general secretary Ravinder Gupta said, “We have demanded wage revision based on the minimum wages formula without linking to profits or paying capacity.” As of now, many major banks have not given the mandate, few banks have given mandate to IBA for negotiating only up to Scale III officers, said Charanjit deputy general secretary Canara Bank Officers’ Association, an affiliate of All India Bank Officers’ Confederation said. Such fractured mandate will be resulting in deep cut of allocated funds meant for distributing among the various heads of pay slip components, Mr Gupta said. As the allocated funds would be the agreed percentage of total pay slip components of up to scale III in respect of those banks which have given mandate and not the pay slip components of the entire industry of all the cadres including workmen, he added.
Dates on which bank services will be hit:
December 21: Bank officers’ union strike
December 22: Fourth Saturday Off
December 23: Sunday Weekly Off
December 25: Christmas holiday
December 26: Strike by United Forum of Bank Unions
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