We are on war path – We are on right path: AIBEA

(Reproduced from News Bulletin of All India Bank Employees Association, AIBEA)


Two-day bank strike ends

The two-day nationwide bank strike has ended with the threat that more is to follow if the government decides to go ahead with its privatisation programme.

18 December 2021

The two-day nationwide bank strike has ended with the threat that more is to follow if the government decides to go ahead with its privatisation programme.

Banking services were paralysed as employees of public sector banks went on strike even as the government had listed the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, for introduction and passage during the current session of Parliament to facilitate the privatisation of banks.

Deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance and electronic clearing facilities like NEFT and RTGS were severely impacted. ATMs across several parts of the country went dry on Friday, the second day of the strike.

In the three clearing centres of Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai, about 39 lakh cheque worth about Rs 37,000 crore could not be taken up for clearance, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) general secretary C H Venkatachalam said.

Government treasury operations, negotiating of import and export bills, grant of loans, cash transactions, etc. were not possible and clearing operations were affected.

Over 10,000 branches of various banks in Maharashtra wore a near- deserted look as more than 50,000 employees joined the strike.

“The strike was a total success. Even we did not think we would get such an overwhelming response from the people. If the government does not withdraw its bank privatisation programme, we will continue to protest in various forms including strikes, street corner meetings and social media,” said United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU) convenor Devidas Tuljapurkar.

In the heart of Mumbai, hundreds of bank employees marched on the streets raising slogans, conducting street corner meetings and forming a huge human chain around Horniman Circle in the Fort area. The placards read ‘Bank Banchao, Desh Bachao’ (Save Banks, Save the Country), ‘People’s Money for People’s Welfare and not for Corporate Loot’, and ‘Save Public Sector Banks from Privatisation’.
In West Bengal, shutters of around 8,590 bank branches and most ATMs were down. One placard read, “We are sorry for the inconvenience. We are trying to save Indian economy”.

Several opposition parties extended support to the two-day strike called by the UFBU. These included the Congress and regional parties like the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and the DMK in Tamil Nadu.

The UFBU is an umbrella body of nine bank unions, including AIBEA, All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC), National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).

In the Union Budget for 2021-22 presented in February, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed to take up privatisation of two public sector banks as part of its disinvestment plan.

The bank unions have stated that the government’s decision to privatise public sector banks would adversely impact the country’s economy, priority sector lending and credit flow to smaller entrepreneurs.

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Vimla M
Vimla M
2 years ago

Solidarity with all the workers that went on strike! The only way out is together so we must continue our struggle across all sectors. It is also a reminder that the workers and peasants of our country are the most powerful. The country will stop functioning without us. We need to relealize our power and come together and fight! Great report!💪🏽