Chennai: A day after the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) raised its wage hike offer to 8 per cent from 6 per cent, the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) on Saturday called a nationwide strike on December 26 against bank mergers and pay revision. UFBU, the consortium of nine unions in the banking sector, is opposed to the merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank, the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) said on Saturday. The AIBEA and the NOBW are constituents of the UFBU. “Merger is not a solution.
It (merger of BoB, Dena and Vijaya banks) was a unilateral decision of the government. Views of other stakeholders like shareholders and employees should have been sought,” NOBW Vice President Ashwani Rana told IANS. On wages, the unions are demanding a hike of 25 per cent, increment for all bank employees under scale 1 to 7 (instead of IBA’s offer to only those employees in junior scale of 1 to 3) and rejection of the proposal to introduce variable pay. Though wage revision in state-run banks happens every five years, it may be difficult for them to raise wages substantially as high NPAs and losses have hurt the sector. (IANS)