All-India bank strike on December 27 over wage revision in IDBI Bank
The All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) and All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA) - two of the biggest unions in the banking sector - have called for an all-India strike on December 27, demanding the implementation of the long overdue wage revision in IDBI Bank. The United Forum of Bank Unions, an umbrella body of nine bank unions, has reportedly support the strike call.
AIBEA has been demanding a wage revision for employees and officers of the IDBI Bank, allegedly due for the period from November 1, 2012 to October 31, 2017. According to media reports, all other banks have not only completed and implemented the wage revision in May 2015, but have also commenced negotiations for the next revision due from November 2017. Even the likes of the Reserve Bank, Life Insurance Corporation, General Insurance Corporation, and Regional Rural Banks have reported completed the exercise.
So the miffed trade unions again discussed the issue at a joint central committee meeting held in Delhi, according to The Hindu Business Line, and took the decision for the sector-wide strike. In a joint statement, the two unions said they have been taking up the matter repeatedly with IDBI Bank management and the central government but it's been dragging on endlessly.
The bank's management on it part has been steadfastly pinning the blame on its bad loans. During the September quarter, IDBI Bank reported a loss of Rs 197.84 crore - its fourth straight quarterly loss - against a profit of Rs 55.52 crore a year back. The percentage of gross non-performing assets (NPAs) to total assets rose to 24.98 per cent, the highest among all lenders currently. That's really bad news for the employees seeking wage revision.
Incidentally, the associations had previously gone on a two-day strike in October to protest the "inadequate response" to their long-pending demand. The management had reportedly offered a hike of only 7-8 per cent against a demand of 15 per cent, on the lines of the industry-level 10th Bipartite Settlement. Will the coming strike succeed where all other efforts have failed?