Second Bank Strike: All you need to know

Second Bank Strike: All you need to know

NEW DELHI : Dec 26, 2018:

Banking operations were affected on Wednesday as close to 10 lakh employees of various public sector and some of the private and foreign banks are on a day-long strike to protest against the proposed merger of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda.

Last week, around 3.20 lakh bank officers from variousstate-run banks were on a one-day strike opposing the proposed merge and alsoseeking immediate wage revision.

The unions on Wednesday claimed that banking services,including deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearances and issuanceof demand drafts, among others, were affected across the country due to thestrike.

In September, the government had announced merger ofstate-owned Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with the larger peer Bank of Baroda.

The merged entity will have a combined business of Rs 14.82trillion, making it the third largest bank after State Bank of India (SBI) andHDFC Bank.

Meanwhile, the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU)claimed  that the merge claiming that themerger is not in the interest of banks or their customers and will in fact bedetrimental to both.

It stated that the government wants banks to grow in sizethrough this amalgamation but even if all public sector banks are bundled intoone, the merged entity cannot find a place among the top 10 globally.

Despite the opposition, the government had last weekaccorded in-principle approval for the merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank withBoB. Post-merger, the number of state-run banks will shrink to 19 from 21 now.

The merger comes after SBI merged its five subsidiary bankswith itself and apart from taking over Mahila Bank last year, which catapultedit to be among top 50 global lenders.

Bank managements have mandated the industry lobby IndianBank Association (IBA) to negotiate the wages for employees in the scales 1-3but the unions want this to be raised up to scale 7.

The wage talks are on for the past 13 months between the unionsand IBA, the latter has offered a wage revision of 8 per cent.

In the past wage settlement, which was for the period from November 1, 2012 to October 31, 2017, the employees got a 15 per cent hike.

With inputs from Agencies

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