People stand in line outside the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) headquarters in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

RBI Staff To Go On Two-Day Strike Over Pension Dispute

Staff at the Reserve Bank of India will go on strike over September 5 and 6, over long pending pension disputes. According to a statement by the United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers & Employees on Wednesday, the decision to go on strike was taken after the regulator and officials from the Ministry of Finance did not approve the forum’s demands on revising pension payments for retired officials.

According to the statement, the protest will first begin with a meeting with the RBI’s central board on Wednesday, followed by a gate demonstration on Aug. 20 across all central bank offices in the country and culminate in the two-day protest, which will involve mass casual leaves taken by all associated RBI employees.

The decision to go on strike was taken on Aug. 3 after the forum met with other employee unions at the RBI.

The dispute started after retired RBI employees started demanding that their pension be revised in line with what central government employees had been receiving. The demand has been rejected by the government.

The forum claims in its memorandum that the regulator’s pension fund comprised funds worth Rs 15,359.97 crore as on June 2017, which is sufficient to pay all pending dues to retired RBI officials. It claims that even though RBI Governor Urjit Patel recently wrote to the Finance Ministry seeking approval to clear the pending dues, the government rejected the request.

RBI employees had last conducted a similar strike in November 2017.