Bankers to strike work on January 8

Chennai, Dec 28 (IANS) Around 340,000 bank employees across the country would strike work on January 8 to protest the violation of bilateral settlement by the five associate banks of the State Bank of India (SBI), a top leader of All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) said here.

The five associate banks of the SBI are State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur.

“Nearly 340,000 bankers would strike work on January 8. The strike is to protest against the violation of bilateral settlement by the five associate banks of SBI and their attempt to force unilateral service conditions on employees,” C.H. Venkatachalam, AIBEA general secretary, told IANS here on Monday.

According to him, it is the AIBEA that has given the strike call.

Explaining the rationale behind the strike call, Venkatachalam said the service conditions in the SBI are different and based on the agreement between the SBI management and the employees’ union.

On the other hand, the service conditions of the five SBI associate banks are common with those of other banks.

“In May 2015, a common settlement was signed between Indian Banks’ Association (IBA-management body) and All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) which defined the duties and remuneration of the employees for undertaking various jobs in the banks,” Venkatachalam said.

He said the five SBI associate banks are parties to the settlement and hence governed by the settlement terms.

“But the managements of the five associate banks are implementing the service conditions of the SBI, which is illegal and violation of the settlement,” he said.

Asked why the strike has been called early in the year, he said the union had deferred the strike call given for December 1 and 2, 2015, on the intervention of deputy chief labour commissioner, Delhi.

“The bank management is forcing its rules without any discussion with the unions from the New Year onwards and hence we are forced to respond,” Venkatachalam said.

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