Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) and the All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) have called for a three-day strike when talks with the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) failed to be initiated over wage revision.
The strike has been timed ahead of the second Saturday of March when banks observe a holiday, which could mean bank workings will be affected for five consecutive days including Sunday.
Demand for wage revision
The union demands for wage revision settlement at 20% hike on payslip components with adequate loading thereof, while IBA said it is ready for up to 19 per cent hike including a performance-linked incentive.
The told the division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice AJ Shastri that it had no role to play in disputes between banks and their staff since the issue raised was not policy-related to seek RBI intervention.
It further told the court that each bank had its service rules and that the RBI had no control over the staff of these lenders. The court was adjourned after the lawyer for the employees' union said a meeting was scheduled with the banks to resolve the matter.
Seeking court's direction to the RBI
The PIL filed by seven industry outfits to include Gujarat Traders Federation, and the chambers of commerce and industry of Rajkot, Gondal, Bhavnagar, Sorath, and Central Gujarat, as well as Ahmedabad Automobile Dealers Association has sought the court's direction to the RBI, to issue circular or directions to banks to take strict action against employees who go on frequent strikes.
The tussle between the government and bank employees going on such indefinite strikes has affected the bank consumers, trade and industry. The PIL stated, "The employees of banks can achieve their demands of wage revision, etc. as per the provisions of the law and not by declaring strikes, which cause great financial damage to the nation as a whole and the public at large."
This is in reference to the strike called by bank employees' unions earlier on January 31 and February 1, and now from March 11 to 13, an indefinite strike from April 1 if their demand for wage revision goes unmet.