Bank, Insurance Firm Unions Threaten Nationwide Stir Over Govt Policies

Unions representing banks and insurance companies have formed a coordination committee, threatening to hold demonstrations and strikes starting August if their demands are not met.

AIBEA General Secretary C H Venkatachalam is the Chairman of this committee. GIEAIA General Secretary K Govindan is the Convener.

Increasing attacks in the banking and insurance sectors were the main trigger to form the Coordination Committee of Bank, Insurance and Finance Unions, Venkatachalam said.

All India Bank Employees Association, All India Officers Association, General Insurance Employees All India Association and All India LIC Employees Federation are part of this committee.

The committee has decided to organise dharnas in all state capitals on July 14.
The unions are protesting against bank privatisation, GIC disinvestment, FDI in banks and insurance and the FRDI Bill. They want recruitments in banks, LIC and GIC, and the end to outsourcing and contractual jobs.

“If the government does not revise its policies on banking and insurance sectors and continues with its existing policies, the CCBIFU will decide to go on a strike during the winter session of Parliament in December 2018,” said Venkatachalam.Normal working at banks was affected today due to a nationwide strike called by 10 central trade unions, although the staff of SBI, IOB, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank stayed away from the agitation.

“23 public sector banks, 12 private sector banks, 52 regional rural banks and over 13,000 cooperative banks have gone on strike today to protest against government’s pro-corporate policies,” All India Bank Employees Association General Secretary C H Venkatachalam told PTI.

He said that over half of the 10 lakh banking sector workers are supporting the strike call given by 10 central trade unions as their talks with the government on 12-points charter of demand failed last month.

Venkatachalam further said that among public sector banks State Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank have not joined the strike whereas in private sector ICICI, HDFC, Axis and Yes did not join the day-long strike. He said that Yes did not join the strike because there is no trade union there.

While clearing business was affected across the country, banks have fully stocked the ATM machines.

Venkatachalam said that banking sector has joined the stir to protest against central government’s anti-labour and pro-corporate policies.

The government had yesterday appealed to the trade unions to call off the agitation in the interest of workers and the nation.The unions however decided to go ahead with the strike as their talks with a ministerial panel headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley last month did not make any headway on their 12-point charter of demands.

Trade unions’ 12-point charter of demands includes urgent measures to rein in price rise, contain unemployment, strictly enforce basic labour laws, provide universal social security cover for all workers and minimum wage of Rs 15,000 per month.

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