Chandigarh: 13th February, 2017 : United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) is the umbrella forum for nearly a million bank employees and officers represented by five workmen unions and four officers’ associations.
The Unions in the banking industry have been fighting for more than 2 decades against the reform menace that was introduced in the year 1991 and trying to halt the speed of the reforms inasmuch as these reform measures are against the interests of general public and labour force in the country.
The efforts of the successive Governments are aimed towards wiping out the public sector character prevalent in the country since long. As far as the banking industry is concerned, the nationalization of banks was done with an objective to promote small savings, inculcate self-sufficiency towards stabilized economy and primarily to reach the priority sector, which was totally neglected by the class banks established earlier.
In the name of reform measures, every effort is being made by the successive Governments since 1991 to shift the control of public sector entities to the private and foreign investors. In order to create a conducive environment to the private and foreign investors further efforts are being made by the Government to amend the labour laws to suit their needs. The proposed amendments to labour and several other related laws of the land would affect the entire labour force and also the trade unions working for the welfare of the labour in the country.
It is disheartening to note that public sector entities are permitted to hire people on contract instead of providing the job opportunities to the millions of unemployed in the country. The contract system is more dangerous for the reasons of underpayment of wages as well as insecurity of the job. Even in banking industry, every effort is being made to outsource the permanent jobs on contract basis.
Hence, UFBU is opposed to the retrograde anti-people banking/labour reforms, the moves of the Government infringing the hard-earned trade union rights and the hazardous practice of outsourcing of permanent jobs.
The implementation of demonetization and the effects of the same are known to everyone. The role and the performance of bank employees during the implementation period was appreciated by each and everyone including the top management functionaries, Government, customers and the general public. It is a pity that the day and night hard work and suffering of bank employees and officers are not given due recognition and the legitimate compensation to employees and officers for the extra hours of work performed is denied.
The cost of demonetization as well as the business loss during the demonetization period of nearly two months will have a cascading effect on the balance sheets of the banks, the brunt of which would ultimately fall on the bank employees and officers alone. It is imperative that the demonetization cost needs to be reimbursed to the Banks by the Government.
The Government is very serious in continuing the retrograde reform measures ignoring the real menace in the banking industry i.e., alarmingly increasing bad loans. Wilful defaulters are also on the increase. The whole country has so far witnessed that the method of evading repayment also is maximum done by the big and corporate borrowers. The economy of the country is affected. There is a need to fix accountability of those responsible for the bad loans. Criminal action against willful defaulters of bank loans can only reduce such types of irregularities in the banking industry.
On the issues and demands mentioned above and various other demands relating to improvements in service conditions of bank employees and officers including retirees, it has been unanimously decided by the UFBU to observe One Day All India Strike on the 28th February 2017.