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Unions defer 3-day bank strike scheduled in March

Trade unions have deferred a 3-day bank strike scheduled in March after banks raised the wage hike offer from 12.5 percent to 15 percent
New Delhi: Trade unions have deferred a 3-day bank strike scheduled in March after banks raised the wage hike offer from 12.5 percent to 15 percent. “In today’s talks with Indian Banks' Association (IBA), apart from a 15 percent increase in payslip cost, progress was made on some of our other demands as well. In view of this positive development, our agitation has been suspended and the three-day strike has been deferred,” United Forum Bank Unions (UFBU) said.

3-day bank strike was slated to begin from March 11

Unions in the banking sector had initially planned a 3-day bank strike starting March 11. The strike would have hit bank services for six days on the trot because of two holidays — Holi and the second Saturday of the month — apart from Sunday. CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary of All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), said one more round of bipartite talks was held at the IBA office in Mumbai. The IBA team was led by Rajkiran Rai G, Chairman of the Negotiating Committee. The demand for a five-day a week in banking will be taken up in further discussions. In addition to the 15-percent pay hike offer, encashment of privilege leave at five days a year is also one of the demands made by the unions.

IBA agrees to look at improvement on pension front

Venkatchalam said that the IBA agreed that some improvement on the pension front would be worked out for retirees under earlier settlements after calculating the cost. As far as improvement in family pension is concerned, the matter recommended to the government will be expedited. The banker’s association has agreed to discuss all other issues as well, Venkatachalam added. The dialogue follows two strikes on January 31 and February 1, said AIBEA. The previous wage settlement lapsed in October 2017 and a new deal, effective from November 2017, was reached with IBA. The finance ministry had earlier issued instructions for negotiations to begin six months ahead of the date of expiry of the last settlement.