Friday, August 10, 2012

Bank staff threaten two-day strike

The All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), which represents the employees of the public-sector banks, has threatened to go on a two-day strike from August 22, against the government’s proposed Banking Bill, closure of rural branches and other set of banking sector reforms.
In a circular to the members, C H Venkatachalam, general secretary, AIBEA, said “the attacks are increasing and the IBA/government are indifferent to our demands. Hence UFBU has given the call to revive the agitation and struggle programmes. Further, the government is also proposing to amend the banking laws during the current session of Parliament. UFBU has therefore, decided that they should be ready for instant protest strike in such an eventuality”.
“…a bipartite meeting between the IBA and UFBU on July 24, 2012 was held as per the advice of the Deputy CLC. While we have explained all our demands to the IBA in detail and emphasised the need for an amicable solution to the issues, the IBA has remained
unresponsive till date. In view of this, as decided in UFBU meeting held after our discussions with the IBA, we have served the strike notice on IBA,” read the circular.
The main issues include settlement of pending demands, stopping arbitary guidelines of human resource issues, stopping unilateral implementation of Khandelwal Committee Recommendations, a freeze on outsourcing of bank jobs, a hold over banking sector reforms and non-closure of rural branches.
 “It is also learnt that in the ensuing monsoon session of Parliament, the government is proposing to get the Banking Law Amendment Bill passed. The proposed amendments to the Banking Regulations Act and Bank Nationalisation Act are unwarranted and aimed at further de-regulating and liberalising the banking sector with increasing voting rights for foreign and corporate investors, etc. Hence, as decided in our last meeting, all our unions and members are ready for an instant strike if the government would suddenly bring the Bill for consideration by Parliament,” said Venkatachalam.


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