Banking, insurance operations hit as employees strike work

Chennai/New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) Financial services were hit on Wednesday as lakhs of bank and insurance employees across the country began a one-day strike to protest against the anti-trade union and worker policies of the central government.

“The strike has begun on an encouraging note across the country as per the initial information. Employees of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), nationalised banks, old private sector banks, cooperative banks, regional rural banks are participating in the strike,” All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIEBA) general secretary C.H. Venkatachalam told IANS in Chennai.

According to him, strike is a success in major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.

Across the country, around 500,000 bankers – workers and officers – would be participating in the strike. Around 75,000 branches will not function.

Unions in State Bank of India (SBI) and Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) are not participating in the strike.

“All the major recognised unions representing Class III and IV employees in Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and four government owned non-life insurers are participating in the strike,” J. Gurumurthy, vice president, All India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA) told IANS.

Some 100,000 LIC workers are estimated to be on strike.

Unions in the non-life insurance sector are demanding early conclusion of wage negotiations, finalisation of the promotion policy and scrapping of outsourcing, among other demands.

Transport unions in the country are also striking work over the proposed Road Transport and Safety Bill.

“All 52 regional rural banks apart from district banks joined the strike,” Venkatachalam said.

“Besides, employees of other important banks like IDBI, Nabard too have joined the strike,” he said.

“Except the State Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank, all other banks have joined the strike. Kotak Bank is on strike,” the AIEBA general secretary added.

The strike was called in support of the 12-point charter of demands of the 10 central trade unions. Fourteen unions in the banking sector too have given a call for the strike, protesting against the NDA government’s proposed bills amending labour laws, the Contract Act, the Electricity Act and Factory Act.

The unions in the banking and insurance sectors are participating in the strike in support of the 12-point charter as well as other pressing issues in their sectors.

Complaining of increasing attacks on the rights and privileges of workers and concessions extended to the employers, Venkatachalam said there are open attempts to amend labour laws in favour of the employers and to the detriment of the workers.

The neo-liberal economic policies are only aggravating the problems of the workers and common masses, he said.

Venkatachalam said in the banking sector, there are continuous attempts to push through the reforms agenda aimed at privatisation of banks, consolidation and merger of banks and others.

“More and more private capital and foreign direct investments are being encouraged. Private sector companies are being given licences to begin banking business,” he said.

According to him, Regional Rural Banks are sought to be privatised and a bill has been passed in parliament despite protests from employee unions.

The real problem of increasing bad loans is not being effectively handled by the government but on the other hand, crore of rupees are being written off from profits of banks, Venkatachalam said.

“Deliberate and willful default of bank loans should be termed a criminal offence and money recovered but no action is being taken on them,” he added.

“As on March 31, 2015, there are 7,035 cases of willful defaulters involving bad loans of Rs.58,792 crore.

“The bad loans in the banks as on March 31, 2015, has risen to Rs.2,97,000 crore in addition to another Rs.4,03,004 crore of bad loans of 530 corporate companies shown as rescheduled and restructured loans under CDR (corporate debt restructuring) scheme,” Venkatachalam said.

According to him, bad loans struck up in top 30 borrowal accounts of public sector banks as on March 31, 2015, is Rs.1,21,162 crore.

“More and more private capital and foreign direct investments are being encouraged. Private sector companies are being given licences to begin banking business,” he said.

3 Comments

  1. Many multinationals get lots and lots of stuff manufactured in China.

    Many consumer goods sold in most countries are manufactured in China. From trinkets, mobiles, clothes, cars, trains, and I am sure, in the near future, passenger planes as well.

    Why do the multinationals go to China for getting their wares manufactured there?

    There are many reasons of course. A major one being that labour is tightly controlled.

    The globetrotter went all over the world, smiled and took selfies with the world leaders. And said “We will make in India. Give us the bijiness”.

    The globetrotter and his friends went about creating a logo (apparently copied from somewhere), and pasted the “Make in India” slogans all over the place.

    Why they did not say “Make in Bhaaratha” I don’t now.

    Last week it was Patels who disgraced the “Make in Bhaaratha” idea.

    And then there was the great Chinese currency jantar-mantar causing the globetrotter’s colleagues to run around like headless chickens as the stock market was in the grip of the worst bears for some years.

    This week it is the trade unions that are undoing the “Make in Bhaaratha” mantra.

    But the globetrotter is not there to feel sorry for anyone. He is getting his bandwagon ready – for a trip to US of A. The press releases are already out: ” The first Indian PM to visit LA after Nehru”.

    Wait for a few more superlatives to hit the news.

    • Why they did not say “Make in Bhaaratha” I don’t now. – Mr. Mangal

      Sir’ji, if our Original ಯಮ್ರೀಕೀ ರಾಂಪಣ್ಣ were to have his version of HIS-STORY (HISTORY), your Bharatha would have been rechristened as ಅಖಂಡ ಭಾರತ ಮಾತ.

      Say, couldn’t Greece have included India on their map? It sure would have downsized their debt crisis. And we are fighting over Kashmir! Lol!

      But then, who on earth will explain all this to our ಯಮ್ರೀಕೀ ರಾಂಪಣ್ಣ?

  2. Indians had not finished digesting the news of the Patel riots when the nationwide strikes hit them like a ton of bricks. Acche din indeed.

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