Bank employees stage protest, observe strike

Bank employees staging protest at Shalamar Road in Jammu on Thursday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Bank employees staging protest at Shalamar Road in Jammu on Thursday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 16: As a part of nation wide bandh call for two days, the Bank employees observe complete strike today and held protest demonstrations at various places across J&K.

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In Jammu city, a massive demonstration of Bank employees was held at Shalamar Road in front of Punjab National Bank today, under the banner of United Forum of Bank Unions since there was no positive development in the conciliation meeting on Dec 14, 2021. It has been decided to go ahead with the strike on December 16-17 to oppose privatisation of Public Sector Banks.
The employees were addressed by Arun Kumar Gupta, general secretary Jammu Province Bank Employees Federation. He informed the gathering that the reason for two days continuous nationwide Bank strike by one million bank employees, was against the Government decision of privatization of two Public Sector Banks and bringing Banking Amendment Law Bill in this session of Parliament. Gupta reminded that 14 major private banks were nationalized in 1969 and 6 more private banks were Nationalized in 1980. State Bank of India, its subsidiary banks, as well as the Regional Rural Banks, and the nationalized banks put together became the sheet-anchor of national economic development.
Under the Public Sector Banks expansion started, reaching out to the common masses, bank branches started to be opened in rural areas and remote villages, precious savings of the people were mobilized and brought into banking system. The neglected sectors like agriculture, employment generation, productive activities, poverty alleviation programs, rural development, health, education, exports, infrastructure, women empowerment, small scale and medium industry, tiny and micro industries, etc. became the priority sector and focused attention of Banks.
There is a wrong perception and mistaken information that Public Sector banks are not earning profits and are incurring losses. But the fact is that Public Sector banks are earning huge operating profits. Instead of further strengthening public sector banking, the present policies are aimed to weaken PSBs, by starving them of the required capital, human resources, allowing private hands through disinvestment and proposed privatization moves.
Ashwani Pradhan, general secretary , AIBOA (J&K Chapter) demanded strengthening of Public Sector Banks, by adequate infusion of capital, human resources and strengthened statutory framework to recover the stressed assets.
Trade Unionists, Tara Singh, Yogesh Kumar, AB Khajuria, RK Bamba, Harminder Singh, T K Tikoo, Ganesh Kumar and others also spoke on the occasion.
Meanwhile the employees working in the public sector banks protested against the proposed privatization of two public sector banks (PSBs) in Srinagar.
Employees from the State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, and other banks gathered at the Press Enclave under the name of the United Bank Unions (UBU), an umbrella organization of nine unions, to protest the proposed privatization of two public sector banks.
“We are opposed to privatization as it would not only affect the employees but customers as well,” Mushtaq Ahamd, Deputy General Secretary of the National Confederation of Banks and Unions, said.