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UFBU to hold protest march on Monday in support of SBI strike

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 7 (UNI) The Delhi unit of the United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU) today decided to hold a protest march to Parliament on April 10 to extend support to State Bank of India employees' strike which entered its fifth day.

The UFBU also threatened to give a call for strike if the legitimate demands of SBI employees are not met by Monday.

The Union said the ''uncompromising attitude'' of the SBI management and the government in not ''meeting the just demands of the striking employees was an issue of serious concern''.

Services in 9022 branches of SBI continue to be severely affected due to the indefinite strike by an estimated 2.10 lakh bank workers and officers across the country.

Scores of people, especially pensioners and government employees, have not been able to encash their cheques due to the strike.

The striking SBI employees, demanding a revision of the pension rate, said they will continue with the agitation till the government accepted their demands.

They rejected Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Bank Chairman A K Purwar's appeal to call off strike and resume negotiations.

''The agitation will continue till the government fulfills our demands,'' All India State Bank of India Staff Federation (AISBISF) Vice President V K Gupta said.

The All India State Bank of India Staff Federation and the All India State Bank of India's Officers' Federation, claimed that operations in branches, including nearly 1,000 in the Delhi region, are being affected by the strike.

''The entire system has been paralysed... all operations have been suspended,'' All India State Bank of India's Officers' Federation Vice President T N Goel claimed.

The Federations dismissed as baseless media reports that the striking employees had received a counter-offer from the management or the government.

They said the striking employees did not agree with any postponement of settlement and the strike will not be withdrawn on the assurance of a dialogue.

The nationwide strike comes in the wake of the government's failure to address the long-pending issue of the pension scheme, awaiting revision for the past 14 years.

The decision to go on strike was taken after the talks on March 31 and April 1 failed between the employee federations, the government and the Chief Labour Commissioner.

The government had invited the federations for talks to resolve the issue as a last ditch attempt to ward off the strike in the country's largest bank.

In fact, negotiations were on between the federations and the Government till late night on April 2 but they failed to avert the strike, Mr Gupta said.

According to bank sources, while pension was revised and updated in the case of the several associate banks of SBI, it was not undertaken for the SBI employees.

In response to a call given by the Joint Action Committee(JAC) comprising All India State Bank Officers' Federation (AISBOF) and All India State Bank of India Staff Federation (AISBISF), the workers and officers across the country went on protest.

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