Bank Strike today – a Massive Success
All India Bank Strike called today by All India Bank Employees Association has been a massive success all over the country. In addition to AIBEA, the strike call has been given jointly by AIBOA, BEFI, INEF and INBOC. Unions in LIC, RBI, NABARD, IDBI also joined the strike. All India Co-operative Bank Employees Federation and all the unions in Regional Rural Banks had also given the strike call. All India Bank Deposit Collectors Federation had also given the call to its members to join the strike. Hence the strike was implemented across in all the Banks in Public Sector, Old generation Private Banks, foreign Banks, RRBs, and Co-op. Banks.
Banking operations were fully affected and paralysed in many States and normal banking services could not be fully functional due to the strike. Payments and receipts of cash in the counters was affected and even clearing of cheques could not be conducted in many centres. Inter-branch cash remittances, remittances of cash to and from currency chest were totally affected. More than five lacs of bank employees and officers joined the strike today all over the country. In metro centres, treasury operations, bills negotiations and inter-bank transactions were also affected. Reports reaching us from States and major centres indicate that strike has been total.
12 point Charter of Demands: The strike was called in support of the 12 point charter of demands of the Central Trade Unions including more jobs for the unemployed youth, control of prices of essential commodities, guaranteed minimum wage of Rs. 15,000, removal of ceiling on Bonus and Gratuity, extending maternity leave benefits to all women workers, strengthening social security funds, etc. and against proposed adverse changes in labour laws, easy rules for retrenchment of workers, investment of PF in stock market, making PF and ESI as optional, curbing trade union justifys and collective bargaining, contracting out and outsourcing permanent jobs, replacing regular jobs with Apprentices, etc.
Anti-people economic policies: The strike is to protest against the anti-people economic policies of the BJP/NDA Government. Black money is increasing but no steps are being taken against it. Inflation goes unabated and Government in casual about it. Investment in agriculture and rural sector is declining but Government does not bother about it. All types of concessions are being showered on the corporate and industrial houses. Foreign Direct Investment is being encouraged even core sectors like Defence, Railways and banking and insurance sector. Public Sector is being weakened through more and more disinvestments.
Banking sector: The strike in Banks is also against the proposed banking reform measures like privatisation and globalisation of our Indian banks, merger and consolidation of public sector banks, allowing private companies to start private banks risking the savings of the poor people, foisting private sector Executives to head the public sector banks, privatisation of Regional Rural Banks, threat of closure of urban co-operative banks and Primary Agricultural Co-operative Societies (PACs), dumping all Government schemes on banks without providing adequate number of employees and officers thus forcing heavy work load on the staff. The real problem of increasing bad loans is not being effectively handled by the Government but on the other hand, cores of rupees are being written off from profits of banks. Deliberate and willful default of bank loans should be termed as criminal offence and money recovered but no action is being taken on them.
As on 31-3-2015 there are 7035 cases of willful defaulters involving bad loans of Rs. 58,792 crores. The bad loans in the Banks as on 31-3-2015 has risen to 2,97,000 crores in addition to another Rs.4,03,004 crores of bad loans of 530 corporate companies shown as rescheduled and restructured loans under CDR scheme. Bad loans struck up in top 30 borrowal accounts of PSBS as on 31-3-2015 is Rs. 1,21,162 crores.
Hence to oppose the anti-people economic policies, anti-worker labour reforms and anti-public sector banking reforms, bank unions have gone on strike. We hope that Government will see reason and change their policies. We thank the bank employees all over the country for their massive and enthusiastic support to the strike call.