State banks have decided to go on a nation wide strike to protest the proposed amalgamation of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with The Bank of Baroda.

This will be the second strike in less than a week as last Friday, an officers union of the state-run banks observed a day long strike on the same issue and also asked for wage negotiations.

Ashwani Rana, Vice President of the National Organisation of Bank workers said, “10 lakh bank employees and officers of the 21 public sector banks, old generation private banks and foreign banks under the banner of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) will join the one-day strike on December 26 against merger of public sector banks and wage revision of bank employees.

However, the strike will not impact the working of private banks.

UFBU, which is the umbrella organisation consists of nine unions, including the All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE) and the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) and has a membership of 10 lakh officers and staffers.

Despite various meetings, there were no assurances regarding the wage negotiations, which has forced the banks to go on strike.

Also, neither the government nor the concerned banks came forward against the merger.

The amalgamation of Bank of Baroda (BoB), Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank is the first three-way merger in the public banking sector.

Earlier, the State Bank of India merged five of its subsidiary banks with itself and took over the Bharatiya Mahila Bank, placing it among the top 50 global lenders.

NOBW Vice President Ashwani Rana said, “Wage revision is due since November 2017. So far, Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has offered 8 per cent wage hike which is not acceptable to UFBU”. 

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