The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has called for a 48-hour all India bank strike on February 10 and 11, as the conciliation talks with the banks’ management regarding raise in wages remained inconclusive. The next round of talks will take place on February 13.

To avert the two-day bank strike, Chief Labour Commissioner B.K. Sanwaria directed the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to hold conciliation meeting with the Union representatives in New Delhi on Thursday. As the management failed to improve its earlier offer of 10 per cent of wage increase, the UFBU officials announced the strike.

Originally, the all India strike was slated for January 20-21. It was deferred as IBA increased its offer from five per cent to 9.5 per cent and promised to improve it further. During its last meeting on January 27, IBA improved its offer by a paltry 0.5 per cent to 10 per cent.

This annoyed the UFBU representatives, who have been seeking an increase of nearly 30 per cent, as the wage revision of public sector bank employees was due since November 2012. There are 27 public sector banks in the country with an employee’s strength of about 8 lakh.

All India Bank Employees Association, general secretary, C.H. Venkatachalam said: “the strike was forced on us as there was no further improvement in talks with IBA. Hence, the strike call stands. A demonstration was held on Thursday across the country protesting against the delay in wage settlement. About 1 lakh officers and employees from Tamil Nadu will take part in the two-day strike.”