Report received from Shri Pawan Kumar, National Senior Vice President, All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC)
(English translation of Hindi report)
United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an organisation of over one million bank workers, has called for a two-day nationwide strike to protest against the central government’s efforts to privatise public sector banks. On the first day of the strike, hundreds of bank employees held a vigorous meeting and demonstration in front of the main branch of State Bank of India in Lucknow.
In the meeting, National Senior Vice President of All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC) Mr. Pawan Kumar said that the government is preparing to sell public sector banks to the corrupt capitalists who are unable to return thousands of crores of rupees to the banks. The government is hatching an international conspiracy to sink public deposits worth Rs. 157 lakh crores stored in public sector banks. In such a situation, small depositors, farmers, self-help groups and weaker sections must raise their voice against bank privatisation with us.
National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE) State General Secretary Akhilesh Mohan said that big industrial houses have looted the banks using political influence. Today, many scams are being exposed due to the mismanagement of banks. Not bank workers but political pressure is responsible for this situation. Instead of stopping this loot, the government wants to privatise banks and deprive common people of the banking service. The protest against privatisation is not only of the bank employees but also of the general public.
At the demonstration, UP Bank Employees Union’s State Vice President Com. Deep Bajpai said with anger that the government wants to hand over the hard-earned money of the public to capitalists through privatisation. The people are being defrauded. Bankers and the general public will prevent the government from privatising banks at any cost.
Presiding over the program, Com. YK Arora, State Convener of the Forum, said that the government wants to privatise banks and fulfil private interests by handing over the public money in the banks to a few capitalists. That is why, bank workers are once again on the path of struggle, we will not allow the government’s high-handedness.
Mr. Anil Srivastava, the District Convener of the Forum, said that workers have been organising protest programmes against these policies of the government for a month through picketing, demonstrations, poster campaigns, wearing masks, rallies, etc. He called upon the bank employees to continue to stay united in the organisation in order to oppose the anti-people policies of the government.
The meeting was addressed by bank leaders Coms. Sandeep Singh, RN Shukla, KH Pandey, SK Agarwal, Chhotelal, Vibhakar Kushwaha, Rajesh Shukla, SK Lahiri, SK Sangtani, Deependralal, Nandu Trivedi, Saurabh Srivastava, SD Mishra, VK Singh, Amarjit Singh, DP Verma, Vinay Saxena and UP Dubey, calling upon workers to be prepared for a long struggle. Many organisations have come forward in support of the nationwide bank strike called by UFBU, including 7,000 Aryavart Bank employees from 26 districts of Uttar Pradesh and one lakh bank workers of 45 rural banks of the country.
Under the leadership of Sandeep Singh of Bank of Baroda Circle Office, Deep Bajpai of Indian Bank and Saurabh Srivastava of Bank of India, demonstrations were organised at the branches of these banks before today’s meeting of bank employees. Later, the officers and employees of all banks participated in the meeting at the main branch of State Bank of India.