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