Bank employees to strike work on 20, 21 February

Nearly a million bank employees and officers belonging to 26 public sector banks will strike work on 20 and 21 February in support of their various demands.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), a representative body of nine bank unions in the country, has given a strike call demanding that the government desist from banking reforms and outsourcing of banking related work.

The demands include early wage revision besides settling of pending issues like compassionate appointment scheme, C H Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) said today.

The bank employees are protesting against:

  • Government's attempt to push banking law amendments;
  • Attempts of bank mergers in the name of functional improvement;
  • Schemes to bail out corporate defaulters; and
  • Plan to issue banking licences to corporate houses;

According to AIBEA, ever since the government initiated the neo-liberal economic reforms policies in the country, there have been repeated attempts to somehow bring in policies that would ''liberalise'', ''privatize'' and ''foreignise'' the banking sector.

The unions have been constantly fighting against these policies and have conducted agitations and strike actions on various occasions in the past whenever the government took any measures of banking reforms, because these are not in the interest of the country and the economy, according to the union.

According to the unions, government is continuing efforts to somehow push through the banking laws amendment bill which would enable easy merger of banks, increase voting rights to private capital in both PSBs and in private banks and allow banks to deal with forward contract business.

''This bill is being listed on a daily basis in the Lok Sabha to somehow get passed,'' it noted.

In the meantime, AIBEA said, the government introduced another bill to amend to Sarfaesi Act / Debt Recovery Act to help corporate loan defaulters by converting bad loans as investments in the equity capital of these defaulter companies.

Bank employees claim support of several members of Parliament, including the entire NDA, all of the Left parties, TMC, AIADMK, etc.