Bank strike: 10 lakh employees to go on strike on 22nd August
Moneylife Digital Team 07 August 2017
The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the umbrella organisation of five employee unions and four officer unions of state-run banks in the country, has given notice of their decision to go on nationwide strike on 22 August 2017 to protest reforms in the banking sector and other issues.
 
"The UFBU has observed that instead of taking urgent remedial measures to recover the alarmingly increasing bad loans in the banks which are threatening to drive the banks into a serious crisis. Steps like memorandum of understanding (MoU), prompt corrective action (PCA), Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill, Ordnance on non-performing assets (NPAs), and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) are only aimed to clean the balance sheets at the cost of the banks, which represent hard earned savings of the people, instead of recovering money," says CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary of All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA).
 
About 10 lakh bank employees from nine unions, 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) will observe the strike on 22nd August. 
 
"We have given a strike notice. The strike will be on 22 August 2017 spread over the entire banking sector," Mr Venkatachalam said, adding, "…it is observed that the burden of the corporate NPAs are put on the shoulders of the common public and banking clientele in the form of hike in fees, charges, and penalties for every type of normal banking services."
 
Recently State Bank of India (SBI) and Bank of Baroda have reduced the rate of interest on savings deposits. SBI, the largest state-run lender in the country has said that they will gain Rs4,400 crore per year by reducing savings deposit interest but see how much they have sacrificed by write off of bad loans of big corporates, Mr Venkatachalam added.
 
Bad loans written off by SBI Group in last five years: Rs93,041 crore
 
 
Mr Venkatachalam said, "It is robbing Peter to pay Paul. People should not be penalised for corporate default and banks inability to recover those loans."
 
The UFBU has been taking note of the developments taking place in the banking sector in the name of implementing the banking reforms agenda of the Government. "While denying the public sector banks (PSBs) of adequate capital thus restricting their business expansion, freely licences are being given to the corporate houses to open private banks, small banks, and payment banks, thus weakening the public sector banks. UFBU feels that very tough measures are required including criminal action on wilful defaulters to recover the huge bad loans given to the corporate houses, big business and top industrialists," a statement from the umbrella organisation said.  
 
The UFBU, comprising nine unions in the banking sector, also urged the Indian Banks Association (IBA) to expedite wage revision and other issues.
 
Here are the 17 demands of the bank employee unions...
 
1 Do not privatise Public Sector Banks
2 Stop plans of mergers and consolidation of Banks
3 Do not write off corporate Non-Performing Assets (NPAs)
4 Declare wilful Default of Bank loans as criminal offence
5 Implement recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on recovery of NPAs
6 Ensure accountability of Top Management/Executives for bad loans and put in place stringent measures to recover bad loans. 
7 Withdraw proposed FRDI Bill 
8 Abolish Banks Board Bureau
9 Do not pass on the burden of corporate NPAs on bank customers by hiking charges
10 Do not increase Service Charges in the name of GST
11 Reimbursement of cost of demonetization and other Government Schemes to Banks by the Government.
12 Settle issues of Employees and Officers connected with demonetisation scheme.
13 Immediately fill up posts of Employee/Officer Director(s) in Bank(s)
14 Implement Compassionate Appointment Schemes in Banks as per Government guidelines.
15 Removal of Gratuity Ceiling under Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 & Total Exemption of Income Tax on Gratuity and Leave Encashment on retirement
16 Pension related issues Improvements in Pension Scheme similar to RBI/Central Government including for past retirees -  Extension of erstwhile Pension Scheme in banks in lieu of NPS - Follow-up of Record Note dated 25 May 2015
17 Adequate Recruitment in all cadres
Comments
Ramesh Jaradhara
5 years ago
Rich is mighty and powerful. This is the rule of Indian democracy. Time and again, this is proved by the establishment, be it RBI, Govt., or any other agency responsible for the protection of common people and their interests. Write-off of huge NPA is a way to give privileged treatment to the mismanaged corporate entities. And to compensate the loss, the banks' authorities hike fees, charges, etc. collected mainly from the common people, who are ultimate savers of the banking system. The continuum is - politician - businessmen - top level bankers, a nexus that is so powerful to dismantle by the bank employees union or the common public. We can hardly expect any change of the situation with the current political regime. The future of PSBs are very bleak and the worse is yet to come.
T.c. Shivswamy
5 years ago
Writing off Bad loans is an incentive for poorly managed businessmen and industialists to increase the NPAs of Banks and financial institutions. There is a vicious ,organised circle of finance ministry officials,Bank officials and cheating and robbing people who are well connected to politicians and the poor legal system which is the root cause of this problem.Along with the citizens the Bank emplpyees are also a threatened lot.Unions are also to blame as they become pawns in the hands of politicians. Dishonesty and eagerness to make fast money is the basic problem.
Vinay Jain
5 years ago
Yes, we stand by this as all the points are very true and at the end common man should not suffer for this.
Mahesh S Bhatt
5 years ago
Damage is done do or die or collapse its matter when? Mahesh
sohan modak
5 years ago
Its abut time that the Government was up, not just by refusing to recover the lost amount from the public in form of dramatically increased charges on savings but to withhold their daily needs by being forced to retain amounts in the bank accounts at the cost of being mendacious towards the daily needs. In doing so, the Banks must also examine the nexus between the bank employees who are/were approvers of defaulted loans and the defaulting entities in name and association over a period of 10 years.
sohan modak
Ramesh I
5 years ago
Considering the list of 17 demands put forth by the Unions for this strike call, it seems more out of the public sector Banks' employees' own job insecurities than for larger public good. PSBs are grossly overstaffed, compared to their private sector counterparts, and despite this the service levels in PSBs even metros is pathetic. There is a general lackadaisical approach towards their work, and gives one a 'feel' of being in a 'govt office'. Generally, Public sector employees demand and get the best salaries and perks comparable to the private sector, but also enjoy the laidback work-culture of the Govt offices - so getting the best of both worlds.
It would be good if the Govt prunes the public sector Banking space to have few large Banks which are accountable for the efficiency and profitability, instead of Govt having to bail them out time and again with taxpayers' money. For decades many PSBs have been kept afloat with taxpayers' money with no one questioning their consistently poor performance.
As for Banks having to disburse high-value loans to businessmen like Vijay Mallya, it's the Banks' top management which panders to FM/Ministry to appease them. Why don't they stand up to any pressure from FM/Ministry on undeserving loan disbursals ?
Arvind Shah
Replied to Ramesh I comment 5 years ago
Please inform all these matters to PM and Jaitley directly through my government website.
SuchindranathAiyerS
5 years ago
Much as I hate to say it, the Bank Unions are right: Customers are being made to pay for the acts of omission and commission of the Neta-Babus and their cronies since 1969:
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