An emergency meeting was held on Monday evening under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi where Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Piyush Goyal, and Bandaru Dattatreya discussed their strategies to deal with the impending issue. Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has updated PM Modi on assurances given by the government on the 12-point charter of demands of the central trade unions (CTUs).

The labour minister has told the Prime Minister about the strike next month and the status of the charter of demands that includes a minimum wage of Rs 18,000, among others, a source said.

A senior union leader, who wished not to be quoted, said it is "too little, too late" and that the government's "so-called fire-fighting mode" is of no use. "The strike stands," he asserted, adding that the government has not done anything concrete on the assurances it had given in August last year, particularly in relation to minimum wage and amendments to certain labour laws, which are "not pro-workers".

Dattatreya also held a meeting of the advisory board on minimum wage, which remained inconclusive, another union leader said. "The meeting went without any progress. The minister asked us for our views on the minimum wage. There was no proposal from the government's side," he added.

Both Goyal and Dattatreya are part of the five-member ministers' panel on labour issues, which is chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, to talk to the CTUs over the demands. The panel had held two rounds of discussions with RSS-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) on August 16 and August 24, which has also been "severely criticised" by other unions for holding such "exclusive discussions".

Nearly 5 lakh other bank union workers and officers are set to join the strike. AIRBEA general secretary Samir Ghosh said the strike will be a total success as RBI officers are in moral support for the cause and are likely to abstain from work.

(With inputs of agency)

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