Hyderbad, Oct 4 : United forum of Banks' Unions (UFBU) an umbrella organization of all the nine major bank unions on Friday termed the decision of Indian Banks Association (IBA) to disburse adhoc amount equivalent to one month's salary (Basic Pay & Dearness Allowance thereon ) to all permanent workmen staff and officers in view of ongoing festival season and pending wage revision settlement, as 'unfair, unilateral and arbitrary'.
In a letter to IBA Chief Executive V G Kannan, UFBU said ''it is also a deliberate attempt to undermine the role of unions and their right of collective bargaining. This is a naked attempt to de-unionise the workforce. Such attempts are bound to have an adverse impact on the otherwise healthy industrial relations in the banking industry.
It is unfortunate that, after negotiating with the Unions for more than two years so far, instead of expediting the Settlement, IBA has chosen to decide to pay ad-hoc amount on its own for reasons best known to you'', It said.
Mr C H Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees Association (UFBU) , a Major union in UFBU, while emailing the UFBU letter to Mr Kannan quoted, Our attention has been drawn to a communication from IBA dated 1-10-2019 under your signature to all member Banks advising them to disburse an ad hoc amount equivalent to one month’s salary to all employees and officers who were in service as on 1-11-2017 and who continue to be in service today and to disburse 15 days’ salary (Basic Pay & DA) for employees and officers who joined between 1-11-2017 and 31-3-2019 pending finalization of the wage revision settlement.
You are aware of the advisory from the Finance Ministry, Government of India dated 12-1-2016 advising the Banks and Indian Banks’ Association to initiate the process of negotiations/wage revision of the employees and to conclude it prior to the effective date i.e. 1-11-2017. You are also aware that having regard to this Advisory, our Workmen Unions and Officers Associations had also submitted the Charter of Demands well in advance with a request to IBA to commence negotiations in advance so that we may conclude it before the stipulated date.
You will also recall that when the initial round of discussion was called by the IBA on 2-5-2017, from the UFBU we had expressed our view that the discussion should be held on a regular basis and concluded at the earliest. IBA also agreed to the same. But, records will speak, that talks were held after a lot of time gap every time and this is the main reason for the delay. This delay is not attributable to the Unions, the UFBU said in its letter.
Even though the negotiations commenced in May, 2017, only after a period of one year, that is in the discussions held in May, 2018, IBA made its first offer of 2%. Thus one full year of negotiation was without any offer from IBA. This delay is also solely on the shoulders of the IBA and not the Unions.
Even in the communication under reference, IBA has presumed and stated that it would take some more time to conclude the negotiations and sign the Settlement. This clearly shows that IBA wants to further delay the Settlement with a deliberate intention to frustrate the employees and officers and to divert the wrath of the workforce against the unions.
If IBA expects further delay in the Settlement, for whatever the reason, and hence wanted to pay an ad hoc amount, it should have been taken up with the Unions during negotiations. Even in the last round of negotiations held on 17-9-2019, there was no inkling of what was there in the mind of IBA and no such proposal was mooted by IBA.
We do not want to deal with the goodwill gesture on the part of IBA as employees and officers of the Banks are capable of understanding the motive behind this decision. Suffice it to say that this goodwill gesture was absent in payment of overtime wages/compensation to employees and officers when they bore the brunt during the demonetisation period and during the implementation of Jan Dhan Yojana scheme within a short period and such other occasions. Even till now, many Bank managements are defaulters in this regard. We wish that such goodwill gesture should have been shown in those times when employees and officers were suffering under so much of stress and strain.
On behalf of all the negotiating unions, we (UFBU) wish to convey its strong resentment, displeasure and protest against the unilateral decision of the IBA in this regard.(UNI)