Officers’ unions of public sector banks have deferred the proposed two-day strike following an assurance from Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar to look into their concerns. “Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar was positive in formation of a committee consisting of all concerned to address the issues arising out of the proposed merger of 10 banks including preserving the identity of all the banks. An appeal was made to us to revisit our strike call in view of the discussions,” a joint statement said issued on Monday.
Four unions of bank officers had threatened to go on a two-day strike from September 26 to protest against the consolidation of 10 state-run lenders into four
In view of the consideration of the positive and workable solution by the Finance Secretary, the 48 hours strike stands deferred, it said. As a result, normal banking activity would not be affected.
The bank employee unions are demanding expeditious wage revision, immediate introduction of five day week, halting of undue interference in the existing procedure of vigilance cases by outside agencies, settlement of issues pertaining to retirees, adequate recruitment, scrapping of NPS, reduction of service charges for consumers and harassing of officers under specious plea of non-performance, he said.
In the biggest consolidation exercise in the banking space, the government on August 30 announced four major mergers of PSBs, bringing down their total number to 12 from 19 in 2017, a move aimed at making state-owned lenders the global-sized banks.
According to the consolidation exercise, United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce are to be merged with Punjab National Bank, making the proposed entity the second largest public sector bank (PSB).
Syndicate Bank is to be merged with Canara Bank. Allahabad Bank will be merged with Indian Bank. Andhra Bank will be amalgamated with Corporation Bank and Union Bank of India.
India has seen a merger of six associate banks along with SBI and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank with the country’s largest lender in the financial year beginning April 2017.
Following next year, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank were merged with Bank of Baroda.