Bank employees go on strike against privatisation

Public sector bank employees under the banner of the United Forum of Bank Unions, an umbrella organisation of nine trade unions, on Monday struck work to protest against the government’s plan to privatise public sector banks.

In a statement, the All-India Bank Employees Association said nearly 10 lakh employees, officers and managers began a two-day strike on Monday. “In view of the decision announced in the Budget that in addition to IDBI Bank, two public sector banks would be privatised, the UFBU has given the call for agitation and strike for two days on March 15 and 16,” the statement said, adding that talks with the government had failed.

The union said privatisation of banks would lead to loss of employment. “The government says some of the public sector banks are in losses and hence it can no longer take care of them. The fact is that all public sector banks are earning operating profits. Because of provision for bad loans some banks are in net loss. So the priority is to take tough action on defaulters,” it said.

Meanwhile, a joint platform of 10 Central trade unions also observed Monday as “anti-privatisation day,” a statement said.

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