HYDERABAD: As the standoff between the Union Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) and The Indian Banks’ Association continues over wages of the employees, all unions, employees and officers of the banking industry, including about 80,000 employees and officers working in around 5,000 banks across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana will participate in a nation-wide strike on five days in January. Banks across the country will remain shut on January 7 followed by four days continuous strike from January 21-24. Though the strike is for four days, banks will remain closed for six consecutive days as January 25 is a Sunday, followed by Republic day. Banks are also closed on January 1 (New Year) and Jan 14 (Sankranti). In all, public sector banks nation-wide would be shut for 12 days in January.
Stating that they were prepared for a long-term intensive struggle, V Anil Kumar, general secretary (AP&TS), All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA), said ‘’Despite repeated rounds of negotiations, the IBA has refused to budge from its stance of 11 per cent, which is why we have decided to call for multiple strikes to fight for our cause.”
However, the striking officials pointed out that discussions are still ongoing between both the parties. “We understand that the IBA had called for a mandate from banks to consider possibility of going beyond 11 per cent. However, this has not been presented in front of all bank boards and only two to three banks have completed so far. Depending on the mandate, there may be progress,” Kumar said.
Despite indications by the IBA to renegotiate with the striking officers, officials insist that they will go ahead with the strike as planned unless a concrete offer is made. “Unless they come with an improved offer, strike holds good,” Kumar added.