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Bankmen's January 8 strike to hit banking operations

By The Assam Tribune

Chennai, Jan 7 (IANS): Nearly 340,000 bank employees across the country will strike work on January 8 to protest the implementation of the new Career Progression Scheme (CPS), a leader of the All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) said here on Thursday.

He said the strike will be in protest against the violation of the bilateral settlement by five associate banks of the State Bank of India (SBI), namely State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur and State Bank of Travancore.

He said the five associate banks were bent on implementing the new Career Progression Scheme (CPS) for their employees in violation of a bilateral agreement with their respective unions.

"It is the managements of the five banks that are on war path against the employees and not the other way round. At the last conciliation meeting, the chief labour commissioner (CLC) had advised the bank managements to put on hold the implementation of the new service conditions," AIBEA general secretary C.H. Venkatachalam told IANS.

The strike will have a great impact on the banking public since January 9 will be a weekly holiday for banks.

"The Indian Banks' Association (IBA) is regrettably silent on the matter. We have been forced to go on strike. The branch offices will not be closed but normal operations might be affected due to employees going on strike," Venkatachalam said.

According to Venkatachalam, the five banks also want to abolish permanent cadres like sweepers and outsource labour activity which, it contended, cannot be done unilaterally.

The AIBEA perceives uniform service conditions between the SBI and its five associate banks as a step towards merger.

Venkatachalam said there already was uniformity in technology, branding, work procedure and use of ATMs by account holders of the six banks.

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