Talks have reportedly failed between the IBA (Indian Banks’ Association) and the banking unions to prevent the nationwide strike slated for the 22nd of August, 2017. The talks were held on Wednesday in Mumbai and no constructive decision has come out of the same as per reports. According to CH Venkatachalam from the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and DT Franco from the AIBOC (All-India Bank Officers’ Confederation), the IBA had emphasized that the Government had to take a decision regarding meeting most of the demands made by the unions.
However, both remained appreciative of the IBA taking the initiative for the very first time to call both unions for discussions. The unions will hold a meeting in New Delhi on the 18th of August, 2017 with the Chief Labour Commissioner. At the meeting held on Wednesday, the Chief Executive of the IBA, VG Kannan, stated that unions should refrain from going on a strike at a juncture where discussions were being held across multiple levels on major issues.
Venkatachalam from AIBEA responded by stating that he would have liked to agree with this view but most of the points raised were serious issues. He also stated that in respect of mergers and privatization, the Government was taking a contradictory approach to the Governor and Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). He also stated that the Banks Board Bureau has not been taking any initiatives for betterment of financial institutions and also added that the unions could not withdraw their call for a strike in the present circumstances.
Franco, the leader of the AIBOC, also stated that instead of asking the unions to refrain from holding a strike, the IBA should actually be providing more support.