Bank unions call for ‘intensifying struggle’ against Centre’s privatisation bid
The AIBEA said the general council called on its associated unions and members from across India “to continue the struggle against bank privatisation”
April 05, 2021 / 10:44 AM IST
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (File image: Reuters)
Bank employees’ unions have threatened to hold prolonged strikes if the government does not reconsider its decision to privatise some state owned lenders.
Members of the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) called for intensified agitation against divestment in public sector banks (PSBs) during their general council meeting on April 4, Mint reported.
The AIBEA said the general council called on its associated unions and members from across India “to continue the struggle against bank privatisation” and in a statement said: “…get ready for prolonged strikes and intensify our campaign to defend PSB and defeat attempts of privatisation.”
Besides bracing for strikes, bank unions are also engaging with customers and the public on “ill-effects” of privatisation, the report added.
The statement on April 4 also sought to highlight how PSBs provide permanent jobs for educated youth, while job security in private banks is “totally absent, fair wages are denied and trade union rights are non-existent.” It sought to emphasise that privatisation will “enslave young employees into these adverse conditions.”
Close to a million bank employees and officers participated in a strike on March 15-16 to protest Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement that the Centre would dilute stake in two PSBs and IDBI Bank.
The two-day strike in March impacted cheque and payment instruments’ clearances worth Rs 16,500 crore on the first day alone.