In a significant move, bank unions on Thursday agreed to drop their earlier announced all-India strike call for June 27. The decision came during a conciliatory meeting held in the Capital under the chairmanship of the Chief Labour Commissioner S C Joshi, on Thursday.

The conciliatory meeting held on June 21 had remained inconclusive and the unions stood by their strike call. The CLC had called for another conciliatory meeting on June 23 to prevent the strike.

There was a change of stance by the bank unions at Thursday’s conciliatory meeting after the IBA agreed to commence negotiations on their demands from July 1.

“Another round of conciliation meetings was held today in Delhi by CLC. We reiterated our demands. IBA agreed to commence negotiations on our demands on July 1. Hence, it is decided to defer our agitation and strike on June 27,” C H Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), told BusinessLine after the meeting.  

The breakthrough is significant as the IBA has not been communicating with the bank unions for the last one-and-a-half years, sources said. 

The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) was represented by Brajeshwar Sharma, Senior Advisor (HR & IR), at today’s meeting, while the Department of Financial Services (DFS) was represented by Deputy Secretary Kul Bhushan Nayyar. Representatives of both Catholic Syrian Bank and Singapore-headquartered DBS Bank were also present at the meeting. 

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), a representative body of nine bank unions, had given the strike call for June 27. The All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) is one of the nine unions which form part of the UFBU.

The main demands of the unions include introduction of five-day banking (all Saturday and Sundays  to be holidays) and scrapping of NPS for post April 2010 employees/officers and implementation of the old pension scheme for them. 

One other demand is to extend wage revision in CSB Bank (Catholic Syrian Bank ) and DBS Bank (formerly Lakshmi Vilas Bank), sources said. 

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