Public sector bank unions decide to join national strike called on Jan 8

Bank employees shout slogans while protesting during a nationwide strike called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), in Mumbai (Pic: Suryakant Niwate)
Bank unions have decided to join the national general strike which has been called on January 8, 2020. The strike has been called in protest against the central govt's labour policies and banking reforms, said the unions.

Central Trade Unions viz. INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC along with various independent Federations and Unions in different Sectors have given the call for national general strike on January 8, 2020 to protest against labour policies of the government.

The demands include, price control, creation of more jobs for unemployed youth, guaranteed right to job, right to wage, job security, end of outsourcing of permanent jobs, no adverse amendment of labour laws, and no curtailment of trade union rights. The unions have also demanded a minimum wage of Rs 21,000 with no weakening of social security schemes.

Workers from both the organised and unorganised sector are expected to participate in this strike.

In the banking sector, the call has been jointly given by 5 Unions; AIBEA, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF and INBOC. In addition, employees of RBI, co-operative Banks, RRBs, LIC and General Insurance sector are also joining the strike. Workers from various other sectors like defence production, steel, oil, coal, railways, ports, road transport, teachers, and other government employees etc. have decided to join the strike, said C H Venkatachalam, General secretary, All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA)

"In the banking sector, we find that the Government’s policy is privatisation and unwarranted merger of nanks despite our vehement protests. On the other hand, the main issue of recovery of corporate bad loans is being ignored and concessions are being given to them while service charges are increased for the common people," he said.

The unions' demands include strengthening of public sector banks, no privatisation, no closure of bank branches, and opening more branches in unbanked, rural areas. They allege that after merger of associate banks with SBI, 6950 branches have been closed and merged.



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