When Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would be reading out her second Budget speech in Parliament on February 1, thousands of bank employees across the India might be sitting on a bank strike. Although the bank employees’ unions do not expect any sops for them in Budget 2020-21, yet they want the intervention of the finance minister in resolving their wage related woes.
The bank strike on January 31 and February 1 has been timed with the beginning of the Budget session of the Parliament. After the budget, the bank unions have threatened a three-day strike from March 11 and another indefinite bank strike from April 1.
After the 11th bipartite talks on wage related issues with the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) failed on January 13, the United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU), a cluster of nine bank unions, announced an agitation programme.
The key issue in this disagreement between the management of PSU banks and union leaders is related to pay hike. Bank unions have insisted on a wage revision settlement at 20% hike on pay slip components with adequate loading thereof while the IBA has given an offer of 12.25% increase on pay slip components with 2% loading.
Other demands include 5-day banking, merger of special allowance with basic pay, scrapping of New Pension Scheme, updation of pension, hike in family pension, income tax exemption on retiral benefits without any ceiling, uniform definition of business hours, etc.