Two Day Bank Strike Deferred
Employees of public sector banks deferred their proposed two-day strike, which was scheduled on December 1 and 2.
Pursuant to our strike notice caused by the provocative decision of the managements of SBI and Associate Banks to foist SBI service conditions on the employees of Associate Banks, M K Choudhary, Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC), Ministry of Labour, Government of India had called for a conciliation meeting at his office in Shram Sakthi Bhavan in Delhi on November 23.
From AIBEA, C H Venkatachalam, General Secretary of AIBEA and other leaders were present in the meeting.
Managements were represented by the Executives of SBI and all Associate Banks along with K S Chauhan, Senior Vice President, IBA.
While presenting the issue before the deputy CLC, the unions have explained that as per the instructions and orders of SBI management, all the Associate Bank managements have pushed through the SBI’s Career Progression Scheme in the Board meetings despite the opposition from unions and dissent by our Workman Directors and the Scheme includes additional duties and powers, increased working hours, enlarged mobility, abolition of entire posts of permanent sweepers and outsourcing them, etc. besides some extra allowances, according to union release.
Unions have pointed out that while SSBEA was always agreeable to resolve the demands raised by them through bilateral negotiations, SBI management was adamant by insisting on accepting CPS as a pre-condition to resolve any issue.
“We also explained how demands like enhancement in staff house building loan, implementation of compassionate appointment scheme as per IBA/Government guidelines, etc are being unjustly denied by the SBI management and linked to the acceptance of CPS. We also submitted that trade union rights of representation, collective bargaining and bilateralism are being denied and negated by the managements and how settled service conditions under Bipartite Settlement are being meddled with overlooking the obligations under ID Act,” said Venkatachalam.
In response, representatives of SBI management tried to justify their actions and maintained that SBI has every right to give any direction to Associate Banks in view of Section 24 of the Subsidiaries Bank Act, he added.
The union contested their viewpoints and stated that the Settlement under the ID Act cannot be trampled with or superseded by SBI or by any decision of the Board of Associate Banks. They pointed out that issues like duties and powers of staff, allowances, working hours, mobility, etc. were discussed in the recent industry-level bipartite settlement and resolved mutually, and Associate Banks being a party to it by giving authorisiation and mandate to IBA, cannot violate the same.
In view of the postures taken by the managements, there appeared to be a stalemate.
However, with the intervention of the deputy CLC, there were further deliberations and SBI/AB managements offered to hold bipartite meeting with SSBEA on December 3, 2015 and agreed to our proposal to keep the offer letters served on the employees (wherever served) in abeyance and not to issue any further offer letters to the employees in the Associate Banks pending talks on December 3.
“In view of this, it has been decided that our proposed strike action on December 1 and 2, 2015 will be temporarily deferred,” said Venkatachalam.