New Delhi, Feb 23: All the Bank Unions today took a collective decision to go ahead with the two-day all India strike on February 25 and 26 after talks with Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Chief Labour Commisioner S K Mukhopadhya failed to cut ice, even though a last-ditch effort is on by the Indian Bank Association (IBA) to save the situation.
The call for the strike has been given by the United Forum of Bank Unions(UFBU), an umbrella organisation of all the nine unions representing bank workmen and officers. The Forum entered into negotiations for nearly six hours with Mr Mukhopadhya last evening and a draft was prepared relating to a probable solution. However, this was not signed either by the Chief Labour Commissioner or UFBU due to some snags, Mr V K Gupta, Delhi Convenor of UFBU and General Secretary of National Confederation of Bank Unions(NCBU) told UNI.
On February 19, the unions had a meeting with Secretary (Financial Services) Arun Ramanathan and later with Mr Chidambaram, but the talks did not yield any results.
Mr C H Venkatachalam, convenor of UFBU and leader of the delegation of Unions, however, said it was not a complete collapse of talks either with Mr Chidambaram or with Mr Mukhopadhya, but a satisfactory solution could not be reached. The Unions, after the delayed conciliatory meeting yesterday, took a decision to go ahead with the strike.
Mr Venkatachalam, however, said the IBA Chairman M B N Rao has in a last-ditch effort called a meeting with the Unions this evening. The Unions have agreed to meet him.
"As of now the strike is on," Mr Venkatachalam said.
The Union leaders said employees of private sector banks will also join the strike, which will completly paralyse banking services for two days. The leaders gave the impression that there was not much hope from the meeting with the IBA Chief.