AIBEA and BEFI give Call for Strike against Proposed Merger of PSBs

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All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees’ Federation of India (BEFI) given the joint call for All India bank strike on 22nd October 2019 against proposed merger of 10 PSBs. The content of joint circular by AIBEA and BEFI is as follows.

AIBEA and BEFI Joint Call for Strike | All India Bank Strike on 22nd October 2019

AIBEA BEFI Joint Call for Strike on 22 OCtober 2019 Circular
AIBEA BEFI Joint Call for Strike on 22 OCtober 2019 Circular

Ever since the Government announced their decision to merge 10 public sector banks into 4 Banks, we have been expressing our opposition and protest against the same. Immediately UFBU gave programmes of countrywide protest demonstrations and followed by demonstrations wherever and whenever the Banks hold their Board meetings to adopt the merger agenda.

All India Bank Strike Poster by AIBEA and BEFI
All India Bank Strike Poster by AIBEA and BEFI

It was decided that further agitational programmes can be decided in the UFBU meeting scheduled on 11-9-2019. But, there was no unanimity nor any consensus could emerge about further programmes of action. Hence, it was decided to hold a Dharna before Parliament on 20-9-2019 and in the meantime, attempts to be made to work out some common approach.

But immediately thereafter, 4 Officers organisations had given their joint call for strike on merger issue and wage revision demand. Since we felt that it is not proper to include wage revision demand in the strike call since wage revision talks were not in any stalemate or deadlock, we could not join their strike call. Thereafter attempts were made to force a united call by all the workmen unions. This was also not fruitful.

Hence, from AIBEA and BEFI, we felt it necessary and accordingly decided that our both the organisations should launch an agitation and give a protest strike call against the proposed merger of the 10 PSBs.

All of us aware that such measures are a part of their agenda on economic reforms and banking sector reforms. In fact, we can easily understand that mergers are a prelude to privatisation of banks and hence we need to vehemently oppose such moves. Similarly, we can also understand that mergers are in exercise to masquerade the huge bad loans by hiding them under a bigger Balance Sheet. It is a matter of concern for all of us that the burden of haircuts, concessions and write offs extended to the corporate defaulters are sought to be put on the shoulders of the common banking clientele in the form of penalty charges and increased service charges. Hence fighting against bad loans is a part of our struggle against mergers and privatisation.

It is also a matter of very serious concern to all of us merger of Banks will imply closure of large number of branches with consequent staff surplusage and staff redundancy which in turn would endanger our jobs and job security.

Hence the proposed merger of 10 Banks and resultant closure of 6 Banks need to be opposed with all our strength.

Keeping the above developments in mind, a joint call has been given on the following issues and demands.

  • Stop merger of banks
  • Stop banking reforms
  • Ensure recovery of bad loans, take stringent action on defaulters
  • Do not harass customers with penal charges & increase in service charges, Increase interest rate on Deposits
  • Stop attacks on jobs and job security
  • Adequate recruitments in all Banks

We give below the following preparatory programmes for effective implementation by all our unions.

AIBEA BEFI Joint Strike Call - Preparatory Programmes
AIBEA BEFI Joint Strike Call – Preparatory Programmes

Comrades, all the issues of our agitational call are important demands. These demands are also inter-related and a part and parcel of liberalisation of the financial sector. We need to fight together and push back such retrograde measures. We call upon all our units and members to implement the programmes successfully and make the strike on 22nd October, 2019 as a total success.

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