A joint platform of central trade unions (CTUs) and various sectoral independent trade unions have called for a two-day strike on 28th and 29th March 2022 to protest against the anti-people economic and anti-worker labour policies of the Union government. All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) has also decided to join the strike, a senior office-bearer says.
In a statement, CH Venkatachalam, general secretary of the bank union, says, "AIBEA has decided to support this call and join this strike to focus on demands in the banking sector. AIBEA unions in public sector banks (PSBs), private banks, foreign banks, co-operative banks and regional rural banks will join in the strike."
On Wednesday, the joint platform of CTUs held a meeting in Delhi to take stock of the preparations in the various states and sectors for the proposed two days countrywide strike against the anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people and anti-national policies of the Union government.
"...the strike preparations are in full swing, with joint state-level conventions, sector-wise conventions in the public sector, as well as corporate sector and the unorganised sectors such as scheme workers, domestic workers, hawkers, beedi workers, construction workers etc. roadways transport workers and electricity workers, have decided to join the strike despite the impending threat of (invoking) Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) in Haryana and Chandigarh, respectively. Financial Sector including banking and insurance are joining the strike," the CTUs say in a joint statement.
It further says, "The meeting also took note of the fact that emboldened by the results of the recently held state elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has intensified the attacks on the working people, reducing the interest rate on provident fund (PF) accumulations to 8.1% from 8.5%, sudden hike in petrol, liquified petroleum gas (LPG), kerosene, and compressed natural gas (CNG) taking steps to implement their program of monetisation of land bundles of public sector units (PSUs) but are held back only because of the worsening condition of inflation and crashing share markets. The meeting condemned these policies."
Unions in coal, steel, oil, telecom, postal, income-tax, copper, banks and insurance industries and services have also given the notices for the two-day strike on 28th and 29 March 2022.
Mr Venkatachalam from AIBEA has reiterated demands from the banking sector, like strengthening public sector banks (PSBs), stopping privatisation of PSBs, stopping haircuts in the resolution process, and initiating recovery of bad loans.
"Banks should not burden customers with high service charges," he says.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), a trade union affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayansevak Sangh (RSS), has decided not to participate in the strike called by the CTUs on 28th and 29 March 2022. "The call for the strike is politically motivated just to ensure the survival of political parties," BMS says in a statement.