Kochi | Nearly 46,000 employees and officials of various banks, including those in public and private sector struck work today in Kerala in support of the call by the United Forum of Bank Unions, demanding wage revision. The strike was total, according to C D Josson, state convenor of UFBU. About 46,000 employees belonging to 5,600 branches of all commercial, gramin and Foreign banks in the state particiapted in the strike, he said.
Cooperative banks are not participating in the strike. Bank branches, administrative offices, foreign exchange departments and clearing houses did not function. The strike call was given by UFBU, demanding revision of wages since the existing wage settlement expired on October 31 2012. Striking employees took out processions and held dharnas and demonstrations in various parts of the state.
At Ernakulam, a dharna in front of Central Bank of India was launched by K Chandran Pillai, Secretary, CITU. Trade Union leaders V P George (INTUC), C A John Luckose (AITUC), Josson and other leaders spoke. Wages and service conditions in the banking sector are governed by the industry-level bipartite settlements signed between Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and the workmen unions and officers’ associations operating in the banking industry.
All banks which have given mandate to IBA to negotiate on behalf of them are parties to the settlements. UFBU, representing five workmen unions and four officers’ associations, is negotiating with IBA for revision of wages to bank workmen/officers, Josson said. UFBU has been requesting, since the start of the negotiations, for a time-bound approach to hold the negotiations on its demands and for conclusion of wage settlement within a reasonable time, he said.