SBI employees may call off strike

They have submitted a revised offer for pension during talks with management.

india Updated: Apr 08, 2006 19:12 IST

The six-day-old strike by the State Bank of India (SBI) employees is likely to be called off soon as negotiations are on between the union leaders and the management.

The striking employees on Saturday climbed down on their demand for higher pension and submitted a revised offer during an over three hour meeting with bank chairman AK Purwar in Mumbai.

After the meeting, All India SBI Staff Federation General Secretary PK Patnaik told reporters that the union has given a revised offer restricting their demand for 50 per cent of last drawn salary as pension up to AGM level (scale V) instead of earlier demand for up to General Manager level.

He also said that the bank chairman has agreed to get back to them after consulting the Finance Ministry.

The union is to hold another round of talks with Purwar later tonight after he consults the Ministry. The employees representatives also have written to Finance Minister P Chidambaram to intervene to the break the impasse.

Their letter confirmed that the union has given a revised offer to SBI management for being forwarded to the Finance Ministry so that a settlement could be reached.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry officials were holding discussions on the developments.

Earlier, SBI employees said they would work on Sunday as well as 24 hours for the next two days provided the management gives a written assurance that their demand would be met.

About 2.10 lakh employees in 9,000 branches of the bank across the country are on an indefinite strike since April 3 in support of their demand seeking higher pension.

In their letter to Chidambaram, the unions sought an appointment with him to explain their position in "proper perspective."

Earlier in the day, Financial Sector Special Secretary Vinod Rai had written to Patnaik, saying: "Since talks have been resumed and are at advanced stage, Government would appreciate if the unions decide to resume work in the interest of general public and customers of SBI."

"I have been directed to convey that it is the desire of the Government that the management and the unions should negotiate in good faith and arrive at a conclusion, which may then be submitted to Government for its consideration," Rai said.

"I have been further directed to say that any proposal submitted to Government will receive the most sympathetic consideration of the Government."

First Published: Apr 08, 2006 12:18 IST