The United Forum of IDBI Officers and Employees is planning a strike on October 24 and 25 to protest the ‘inadequate response’ to the long-pending demand for a wage hike.
The latest offer amounted to a hike of only between 7 per cent and 8 per cent against a demand of 15 per cent due from as far back as November 1, 2012, the Forum said.
The Forum could not accept the proposal for this and other reasons, Ratnakar Wankhade and Vithal Koteswara Rao AV, joint convenors, explained.
Other pain points include introduction of a concept of additional protection allowance and withdrawal of certain pay slip components from the date of settlement.
When combined, these would have a deleterious effect on the gross emoluments and superannuation benefits. So the Forum had no other option but to reject the proposal.
Similarly, the bank’s response to all other crucial issues raised by the Forum forming part of the strike notice has been apathetic and evasive.
Individually, the officers and employees’ associations have adopted utmost restraint and used all persuasive efforts at their command to avoid a confrontation.
“But, owing to the lack of a reciprocal approach from the bank, we have been pushed to an inevitable situation of intensifying the agitation and declaring a fresh plan of action culminating in the two-day nation-wide strike,” they stated.
They recalled that after the deferred one-day strike action on May 23, many rounds of discussions were held with the bank.
As responsible trade unions, constituents of the Forum did not rush with a major escalation of action, keeping in view the larger interest of the bank in terms of infusion of capital by the Centre and concomitant signing of an MoU on a turnaround plan.
“We had no reason to disbelieve the assurance from the head of the institution that he would personally intervene and resolve the issue amicably before July. But this has proved to be futile.”
The Parliamentary Committee on Petitions, Lok Sabha, which deliberated on the wage revision during their study visit to Goa on August 21, is learnt to be convinced of the rationale and legitimacy of the demand for wage hike of 15 per cent.
“The committee, to our information, was unanimous in exhorting the representatives of the bank and the Centre to accede to the demand.”
Earlier, the Forum was informed that the bank has made provision in the balance sheet towards impending wage revision with a 12.5 per cent load hike.
Meanwhile, C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees’ Association, and S Nagarajan, General Secretary, All India Bank Officers’ Association, have extended their support to the strike call given by peers at IDBI Bank.