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Bank management, unions meeting called to avert strike

As another bank strike looms large, the Central Chief Labour Commissioner has called a conciliation meeting on Monday between employee unions and the apex body of management, IBA, to resolve the wage hike issue.

C H Venkatachalam, General Secretary of All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), confirmed that the Commissioner, whose office functions under Labour Ministry, has called a conciliation meeting on January 5 in Delhi.

AIBEA is part of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the umbrella organisation of employee and officer unions of nine banks, which has given the call for one-day strike on January 7 and four days from January 21 in support of their wage hike demand pending since November 2012.

UFBU is demanding a 23% wage hike, but the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), the apex body of management, is willing to give about 11% raise in salaries.

“If Indian Banks Association comes forward with any positive proposal (at the meeting), we will reciprocate and try to find a solution to the problem.

“Otherwise, as announced, there would be an all-India bank strike on 7th January followed by four days strike from 21st January,” Venkatachalam told PTI.

“Wage increase has become necessary due to high inflation and price rise as well as heavy increase in the workload of employees,” he said.

The unions are also planning an indefinite strike from March 16 over the wage hike issue.

The bank employees had gone on a day-long strike on the same issue in November last. This was followed by a zone- wise relay strike early last month.

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