10 lakh bankers to strike on December 26 against mergers

The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) on Thursday said, “with the failure of conciliation talks, around 10 lakh bankers in private and government banks will go on strike on December 26, protesting against the merger of Dena Bank, Bank of Baroda and Vijaya Bank.

“During the conciliation meeting held in Delhi on Thursday, the Additional Chief Labour Commissioner advised the three banks and IBA (Indian Banks Association) to hold negotiations with the unions and convey the Union’s concerns to the government,” AIBEA General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam told news agency.

Venkatachalam further said, “no assurance came from either the government or IBA. Therefore, the conciliation talks failed and the December 26 strike stands.”

The AIBEA is part of the nine unions in the banking sector under the umbrella body of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU).

“The strike was against the bank mergers and there was no deadlock on the wage revision talks with IBA,” Venkatachalam said.

The AIBEA said that India is largely unbanked or underbanked with low density of banks. Mergers will kill bank branches while the focus should be on recovering the huge outstanding loans.