Bank em­ploy­ees stage protest; to go on strike on July 25, 26

HT Ludhiana Live - - Front Page - Deepak Beri [email protected]­dus­tan­ LUD­HI­ANA:

The Pun­jab Bank Em­ploy­ees’ Fed­er­a­tion and the As­so­ciate Banks Of­fi­cers’ As­so­ci­a­tion ( ABOA) held a demon­stra­tion out­side the State Bank of Pa­tiala re­gional of­fice at Miller Ganj in Lud­hi­ana on Wed­nes­day.

The ag­i­ta­tion was a pre­cur­sor to a na­tion­wide strike by bank em­ploy­ees, which will be held on July 25 and 26.

Ad­dress­ing the gath­er­ing, Naresh Gaur, sec­re­tary, Pun­jab Bank Em­ploy­ees Fed­er­a­tion, said, “On a call given by the United Fo­rum of Bank Unions (UFBU), nearly 10 lakh bank em­ploy­ees and of­fi­cers work­ing in the pub­lic sec­tor banks, pri­vate banks, for­eign banks, re­gional ru­ral banks and co- op­er­a­tive banks are go­ing to ob­serve a two-day all-In­dia strike on July 25 and 26, 2012.

"A chain of ag­i­ta­tional pro­grammes has been planned by the United Fo­rum of Bank Unions, which will in­clude mass demon­stra­tions through- out the coun­try.”

Lead­ers of the fed­er­a­tion said the call for the strike was based on long- pend­ing de­mands, and was against uni­lat­eral im­ple­men­ta­tion of Khan­del­wal com­mit­tee and out­sourc­ing of bank jobs.

Is­sues re­lated to bank­ing sec­tor re­forms and clo­sure of ru­ral sec­tor banks were also on the bank em­ploy­ees’ radar, they said.

The fed­er­a­tion al­leged that sev­eral im­por­tant is­sues raised by the UFBU re­mained un­re­solved, such as re­vised com­pas­sion­ate ap­point­ment scheme, reg­u­lated and de­fined work­ing hours, re­vised guide­lines on staff hous­ing loan, five- day bank­ing, non- ex­ten­sion of pen­sion op­tion fa­cil­ity to vol­un­tar­ily re­tired and re­signed per­sons, im­prove­ments in pen­sion scheme like up­da­tion, uni­form DA, etc.

The is­sue re­gard­ing clo­sure of ru­ral branches of banks was also raised promi­nently.

The fed­er­a­tion lead­ers al­leged that though the gov­ern­ment was mak­ing ef­forts to close down ru­ral branches un­der the plea of non-vi­a­bil­ity, but the real aim was to hand over ru­ral bank­ing to pri­vate out­sourced agen­cies/busi­ness cor­re­spon­dents in the name of con­vert­ing them into ul­tra small branches.

Fur­ther, the fed­er­a­tion lead­ers said the ag­i­ta­tional pro­grammes would con­tinue with badge-wear­ing and dharna in all state cap­i­tals and other im­por­tant cen­tres on July 17.

On July 24, mass demon­stra­tions, ral­lies and pro­ces­sions would be held at all cen­tres, and would con­tinue dur­ing the strike on July 25 and 26.

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