Days ahead of a proposed strike by PSU banks’ employee unions, a top union leader today sought the intervention of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to resolve the over two-year-old wage hike issue.
Public sector bank employee unions have threatened to go on a nationwide four-day strike beginning February 25 over the wage hike issue.
C H Venkatachalam, General Secretary of All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), said Jaitley should intervene immediately to settle the long-pending issue.
The association is a major constituent of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) which has given the strike call.
“Jaitley’s immediate intervention is necessary in view of the four-day strike (which coincides with Budget presentation) and also the call for indefinite strike from March 16 in support of our demands,” he told PTI over telephone.
“Wage revision in the banking industry is governed by bilateral agreement between the Indian Banks’ Association (the management body) and the bank unions once in five years,” Venkatachalam said.
The last wage pact expired in October 2012 and hence a wage revision for bank employees and officers is due from November 2012, he said.
IBA had first bettered its earlier offer of 11 per cent wage hike to 12.5 per cent and then again to 13 per cent.
The unions, however, are demanding 19 per cent increase in wages.
Earlier, unions had deferred one-day strike scheduled for January 7 as IBA improved the wage hike offer to 12.5 per cent from 11 per cent earlier.
Following this, unions also deferred the proposed four-day strike from January 21 after the management of banks (IBA) assured that wage-related issues will be resolved by early February.
There are 27 government-owned banks in India with a combined employee strength of about 8 lakh. These lenders have around 50,000 branches across the country.