The All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) has announced that it will join the nationwide general strike on November 26, 2020.
As per AIBEA’s press release, nearly 30,000 bank employees from 10,000 bank branches of public sector banks, old generation private sector banks, regional rural banks, and foreign banks in Maharashtra will take part in the November 2020 strike.
The members of the All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) will also join the one-day all-India strike called by ten central trade unions to protest the Centre’s privatisation bids and ‘anti-labour’ policies.
Certain banks like the Punjab and Sindh Bank have reportedly taken necessary measures to ensure that essential banking services are not affected by the November 26 strike. Anyway, the upcoming bank strike will not affect digital transactions. Users will still be able to make transactions via NetBanking and Mobile Banking and they would also be able to withdraw money from ATMs.
Together around 25 crore workers are expected to join the November 26 Bharat Bandh. The ten trade unions that are going on strike does not include the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh – which is affiliated to the saffron clan.
Trade unions that have called the November 26 strike:
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 Co-ordination Centre (TUCC)
Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA)
All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU)
Labour Progressive Federation (LPF)
United Trade Union Congress (UTUC)
What are their key demands?
- Withdraw “anti-farmer laws and anti-worker labour codes”
- Transfer Rs 7,500 to the accounts of each non-tax paying family
- Supply 10 kg of food grains to needy families every month
- Expand MGNREGS to give 200 workdays every year along with higher wages. Implement the job guarantee scheme in urban areas as well.
- Stop “privatizing public sector, including the financial sector. Stop corporatizing government-run manufacturing and service entities like railways, ordinance factories, ports, etc”.
- Withdraw “draconian circular on forced premature retirement of government and PSU employees”.
- Provide pension to all; scrap the NPS (National Pension System) and reintroduce the previous one.
Bank employees demand:
The banking unions, which represents most banks except the State Bank of India and the Indian Overseas Bank, will be opposing privatisation of banks, the outsourcing and contract system, pushing for adequate recruitment, and demanding stern action on big corporate defaulters. They will also reportedly be demanding an increase in the rate of interest on bank deposits and reduced service charges.
Who else is supporting the November 2020 Bharat Bandh?
The Independent Sectoral Federations and Associations in the Central and state governments, and in the public sector enterprises will be joining in the protests along with workers of most industrial units in the private sector.
Scheme workers, agricultural workers, vendors, hawkers, construction workers, beedi workers, domestic workers, and the self-employed in rural and urban areas will also take to the streets to join the November 26 nationwide strike.
In several states, auto and taxi drivers will also stay off the streets, while the federations of Railway and Defence employees have also decided to mobilise on the day.