Bank, Insurance employees to participate in country-wide strike from Jan 8 : Venkatachalam

TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/7/2019 4:27:02 PM Business and Economy

Hyderabad, Jan 7: Bank employees and Insurance sector employees will join the two-day country-wide strike at the call of all the Central Trade Unions from Tuesday.
The Central Trade Unions which called the general strike were Indian National Trade Union Congress- INTUC, All India Trade Union Congress – AITUC, Hind Mazdoor Sabha –HMS Centre of Indian Trade Unions- CITU, All India United Trade Union Centre- AIUTUC, Trade Union Coordination Centre - TUCC, Self Employed Women's Association - SEWA, All India Central Council of Trade Union -AICCTU, Labour Progressive Front - LPF and United Trade Union Centre -UTUC
All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General Secretary Ch Venkatachalam at a press conference in Chennai on Monday said the general strike was called demanding the Central government to take effective measures to control prices of essential commodities, do not weaken public distribution system, ban speculative trade in commodity market, Take effective measures to create more jobs for youth and reduce unemployment through stepped up recruitments in all sectors and industries.
Strict enforcement of labour laws, tough action on employers for violation of labour laws, Social security cover for all workers and employees, Minimum Wage of not less than Rs 18,000, Assured Pension for all workers and employees. Switch over from NPS to assured pension. Same Wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers for same and similar work, Stop of disinvestment in Central and State PSUs/Undertakings. Remove all ceilings on payment and eligibility of Bonus, Provident Fund, Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days and immediate ratification of the ILO Convention Nos. 87 and 98 were the other demands.
He said the Trade Unions was also demanding to stop the proposed adverse amendments to Labour Laws, Stop indiscriminate FDI in Defence, Insurance, Railways and other core sectors.
In addition, the top union leader said, the demands relating to banking sector were Strengthen Public Sector Banks. Stop retrograde banking sector reforms, Stop privatisation of Banks, Do not merge public sector Banks, Recover huge corporate bad loans, Stop outsourcing regular banking jobs and Adequate recruitments in all Bank.
Mr Venkatachalam warned that the Bank Unions are planning agitational programmes on these demands including further strikes in February and March, 2019.
He sai government wants to privatise our public sector Banks. Our Banks today have Rs 118 lakh crores of Deposits that is people’s money. This cannot be allowed to be handed over the private hands. Further private banks has not given loans to priority sector like agriculture etc. and country will not be benefited, he added.
The AIBEA General Secretary said the Narendra Modi government also wants to merger public sector banks. Already the Centre had merged 6 Banks with State Bank of India in April, 2017. Now it want to merge Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank to merge as one Bank from April, 2018. By SBI merger, 6950 branches have been closed in one year. So Bank merger means large scale branch closures. If bank branches are closed, public will get lesser banking services. Employees may lose their jobs. New employees will not be appointed. So merger of banks are unwarranted, he said.
On the Bad Loans, he said the only major problem in the Banks is the huge bad loans. It is more than Rs. 13 lakh crores. We want the list of these defaulters should be published. We want tough action on these defaulters. Deliberate and willful defaulters like Kingfisher Vijay Mallya should be proceeded under criminal law instead of civil law. Instead the government is giving them concession, he alleged and said hence 19 out of 21 public sector banks are in loss. To adjust these losses, Banks are now collecting penalty charges, more service charges, etc. We strongly oppose the same.
Mr Venkatachalam said today there are more than 2 lakh permanent vacancies. Instead of filling up these vacancies, Government wants to outsource these jobs on contract basis. We are opposing the same, he added.
Canara Bank Employees Union President C S Venugopal, General Secretary Ajay Manjrekar and Tamil Nadu Bank Employees Federation General Secretary E Arunachalam were present in the press meet.

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