Banks all over the country, including those of the Co-operative Banks, took strike action on the 29th July
Bank Unions (UFBU), the umbrella organisation of 9 Unions of Workmen and Officers of the Banking Industry of the country, the Workmen and Officers of Banks all over the country, including those of the Co-operative Banks, took strike action on the 29th July to ventilate their unequivocal protest and opposition to the neo-liberal reform of the Banking Sector being pursued by the Central Government. It is worth noting that the STRIKE was not to press for any financial demand of the employees.
Unmindful of the adverse consequences, as has been more than amply demonstrated through the now infamous GLOBAL FINANCIAL MELT DOWN OF 2008, the Government of India (GOI) has been vigorously pursuing the agenda of:
(i) merger of Public Sector Banks (PSBs)
(ii) expansion of Private Sector Banking including issuance of licences to Private Corporates to start their own Banking entities,
(iii) inadequate capital infusion in PSBs, compelling them to fall back upon Private Capital, which will ultimately lead to PRIVATISATION,
(iv) appointment of the representatives of Private Corporates as heads of PSBs who will, naturally, run the concerned PSBs to further aggrandize the interest of the respective Private Corporates,
(v) culpable indifference towards recovery of BAD LOANS, euphemistically called Non-Performing-Assets (NPA), and, on the contrary, doling out lavish concessions to the big corporate wilful-defaulters. Recent announcement to bring down the Government’s share holding in IDBI Bank to less than 50% and merger of the Associate Banks with SBI are indicators of the GOI’s frenzied rush with its anti-national agenda.
Banking Industry is the custodian of people’s valuable savings and the workforce cannot remain silent onlookers when the GOI dances to the tune of Private Capital for getting control over that hard earned savings; hence the STRIKE. As per reports reaching us, the strike has been all pervasive and a total success, bringing Banking operations all over the country to a grinding halt with Bank Gates remaining closed and no Clearing Operations anywhere; ATMs remained non-operational. Workmen and officers, thousands in number, including many retired ones, gathered in front of bank gates from early morning shouting slogans against neo-liberal reforms of the Banking Sector; in many cities and industrial centres, they also held rallies and took out processions to highlight the pernicious effects of the impending reforms contemplated by the Central Government.
Since onset of the neo-liberal economic reforms regime in the 1990s, Bankmen of the country have already observed, prior to the present one, more than 52 days of All India Bank Strikes, including for two consecutive days on five occasions, to ventilate their persistent opposition to Banking Sector Reforms. While reiterating the said opposition, the STRIKE is an undisguised warning to the Central Government that Bank Employees and Officers are united with the working class in general in its firm resolve to wage and undertake the fight against its anti-people, anti-labour and pro-corporate policies.
While congratulating the Bank Employees and Officers for making the strike today a huge success, we thank the Banking public for kindly bearing with us despite some inconveniences for which we regret sincerely. We assure that their financial interests are uppermost in our mind and we shall continue to fight relentlessly for protection of their interests in the days ahead should the present Government continues to remain subservient to corporate-interests at the peril of our national economy.”