All India Bank Strike Held Successfully
AT the call of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the joint platform of nine unions of workmen and officers of the banking industry, the workforce of the industry all over india, including those of the private sector banks, foreign banks and regional rural banks and cooperative banks also in some states, have gone on strike on August 22 to express their unequivocal opposition to the neo-liberal reforms of the banking sector being pursued by the central government. The strike has been a stupendous success bringing about the banking operations to a total halt throughout the length and breadth of the country. Employees of NABARD and Reserve Bank held tiffin time demonstrations all over the country expressing solidarity with the employees and officers of the industry on strike.
Through the strike on August 22, the workforce has vociferously reiterated their protest against:
(i) the moves of the central government for merger and consolidation of public sector banks (PSBs),
(ii) shifting the burden of wilful corporate-loan-defaulters on to the customers in the shape of increased service charges and reduced interest on deposits,
(iii) increasing service charges on account of GST,
(iv) accommodating wilful loan-defaulters through loan-restructuring, assets-reconstruction, write-offs and waivers, etc.
The strike has also reiterated the demands for
(i) stringent legislation and administrative measures for recovery of bad-loans
(ii) declaration of wilful-default as “criminal offence” entailing exemplary punitive action
(iii) implementation of the recommendations of the parliamentary committee on recovery of bad-loans
(iv) fixing accountability of top management/executives for generation of bad-loans
(v) abolition of Banks Board Bureau
(vi) withdrawal of FRDI Bill etc
Through this strike, the workforce has served an undisguised warning that bank employees and officers are and will remain firm and unrelenting in its fight against the anti-people, anti-labour and pro-corporate policies of the central government. If not heeded, they will go for intensified action in the days ahead. This strike will be followed by massive dharna in New Delhi on September 15, and consecutive two days strike in the coming month of October/November.
Congratulating the bank employees and officers for making the strike on August 22 a huge success, the Bank Employees Federation of India in a statement issued on the same day, has thanked the banking public for kindly bearing with them despite some inconveniences for which they sincerely regret. BEFI has also assured that the interests of the country and those of the banks’ customers have always been and will always remain topmost in their agenda.