Unions of bank employees in India have threatened on Saturday to proceed on a four-day strike starting 25th February which will be followed by an indefinite strike since 16th March on the issue of wage revision pending since November 2011. They are demanding wage hike and other perks in commensurate with the central government employees.

C H Venkatachalam, General Secretary of All India Bank Employees’ Association has rejected the offer by the Indian Bank Association, the management, of 13% hike in wages as inadequate. The IBA has increased his offer to 13% from the initial 5%. Hence, the employees are ready to go on a strike for four days from 25th February, and if need be, the management not accepting their demands, to further go on an indefinite strike since March 16. Venkatachalam added while issuing a statement in Chennai that in view of the increased inflation rate in recent years and the mounting load of work, the offer is too little. The entire workforce of the banking industry, he further added, is implementing government programs and policies including the prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana meticulously. In view of all these it is highly regrettable and unfortunate that the Government of India which is aware of the plight of bankers in the country is not heeding and not intervening. In view of the indifferent attitude of the government and the IBA, United Front of Bank Unions had no choice left, but to go on a four-day strike in February accompanied with an indefinite strike in March 2016.

However, Chief Labor Commissioner has convened a meeting on 20th February in an effort to reconcile and resolve the issue, ahead of the impeding strike. On government and the IBA showing positive intent, unions are ready, Venkatachalam said, to work out a negotiated settlement.