Banking goes for a toss as staff protest divestment

Posted By: Biswajeet Panda
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Bank Strike
Chennai, Aug 5: Banking activities in India on Aug 5 has gone for a toss after almost a million staff employed in the industry, went on a strike to protest proposals to divest government stake in state-run institutions, apart from demanding a host of welfare schemes.

C H Venkatachalam, the convener of the United Forum of Bank Unions was quoted by the Times of India as saying, "Nearly one million bank employees in state run, private sector as well as foreign banks have struck work today (Friday). The nationwide response for the strike call is good."

Another senior officer of the Forum added, "Cheque clearing operations have also been impacted. ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank are functioning. We do not have a presence in them."

The United Forum of Bank Unions is an umbrella body representing nine unions in the banking industry.

Harvinder Singh of the All India Bank Officers' Confederation, was quoted as saying, "We find that the government's equity capital in public sector banks is being diluted and reduced and consequently the private capital in our public sector banks is increasing."

He added, "We demand that public sector banks should not be privatised and government's equity capital in our banks should not be reduced. Do not avail World Bank loan to capitalise public sector banks."

Among the other demands of the union are, no merger of public sector banks, no outsourcing of permanent banking jobs to private sector, recommencement of recruitment in right earnest, give jobs to family members on compassionate grounds and frame guidelines for housing, car and other loans.

OneIndia News

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