Statement issued by Bank Employees Federation of India on February 28
AT the call of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the umbrella organisation of nine 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 regional rural banks and co-operative banks, struck work on February 28 to ventilate their unequivocal protest and opposition to the neoliberal reform of the banking sector being pursued by the central government. The strike was total throughout the length and breadth of the country. Employees of Reserve Bank and NABARD organised lunch time solidarity demonstrations at all centres.
The strike was observed opposing banking and labour law reforms, infringement of trade union rights, outsourcing of permanent jobs and demanding, mainly, legitimate compensation to employees and officers for extra hours of work due to demonetisation, removal of ceiling for payment of gratuity, adequate recruitment in all cadres, implementation of compassionate appointment scheme, improvements in pension scheme and extension of defined benefit pension scheme in banks in lieu of NPS, stringent measures to recover bad loans and fixing accountability of top executives of banks, criminal action against wilful defaulters of bank loans, initiation of process for next wage revision, introduction of five-day banking and others.
The adverse effect of demonetisation on the economy has resulted in decline in the growth rate of GDP. The demonetisation has taken away the lives of more than 100 innocent citizens of our country including more than ten bank employees. The government did not find time to even express sorrow for such deaths. The bank employees, including women, who had to work beyond normal working hours, even till midnight on some days during the months of November and December 2016, have not been paid their due compensation in terms of their service conditions.
The declared objectives of demonetisation – fighting black money, circulation of counterfeit notes and funding for terrorists – having been proved to be nothing but gimmicks, the government is now talking of digital payments. The hidden agenda behind this is to cater to the needs of corporate service providers like Paytm, Jio money etc. A tailored report has been presented recently by a government appointed committee headed by Ratan Watal, former finance secretary of the country. Its recommendations, if implemented, will ultimately ruin the public sector banks’ domain in our country’s banking structure that could save our economy from a disaster emanating from the impact the global meltdown of 2008.
The statement said that this strike is an undisguised warning to the central government that bank employees and officers are united 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 a huge success, the UFBU thanked the banking public for kindly bearing with them despite some inconveniences.
CITU Congratulates Bank Employees
THE CITU has congratulated the bank employees all over the country for their successful strike on February 28, 2017 at the call of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), comprising nine organisations of the bank employees including the officers.
In a statement issued on February 28, CITU said the all India strike was called against the Modi government’s onslaught in the name of banking and labour law reforms, the attacks on the trade union rights, outsourcing of permanent jobs and demanding compensation for the extra work during the demonetisation drive of the BJP led government and some other demands.
In the name of banking reforms the government wants to ruin the public sector banks which were instrumental in saving our economy during the global financial meltdown of 2008. The government has not paid due compensation to the bank employees, as per their service conditions, for their patient and hard work during the demonetisation period. It is to be recalled that during that period bank employees including women worked patiently even till midnight trying their best to satisfy the customers.
Today’s strike is warning by the bank employees to the government of their resolve to fight against the corporate dictated policies being implemented by the government of India. CITU assures the bank employees that it would always stand in solidarity with their future struggle against the neoliberal policies of the government, the statement said.