JAMMU, Dec 26: The Bank employees across the State, as a part of their nation-wide strike programme, observed total strike across the State and organized strong protest rally at Bahu Plaza, in Jammu city here today.
The strike call given by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) consisting of 9 unions of officers and other employees in the Banking industry evoked tremendous response across the State as banking operations came to a grinding halt. The strike was in protest against the Government’s move to merge Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank and also against diverting the attention from NPA menace in the Banks.
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In Jammu region the work in all the banks remained paralysed and the bank employees held protests at their respective places. In Jammu a major protest demonstration was held near SBI at Bahu Plaza. The employees carrying banners were shouting slogans in support of their demands. Several senior officer bearers of the Banks Unions/Associations also addressed the gathering.
AIBOC, the largest association of the supervisory cadre stated that this move by the Government is illogical and detrimental to the interests of these banks, their customers and against the interest of the common man. It said all the alibis raised in justification of the mergers like ‘economies of scale’, ‘better efficiency’ etc. are superfluous, baseless arguments and can only be termed as mere jugglery of words. They termed this move as ‘financial disaster’.
The speakers pointed out that the Government has violated the extant laws of the country as laid down under Banking Companies Acquisition & Transfer of Undertakings Act 1970/80. In contravention of the law governing the Banks, employees/ officer/ directors have not been appointed on the Board of the Banks despite intervention of the Judiciary. They said the Government is not ready for a dialogue or a consultative process with all the stakeholders.
They said Government should wake up to realise that AIBOC is an opinion maker as connected to the common man. The employees legitimate demands in respect of the overdue salary revision have to be addressed. The issues pertaining to the retirees in respect of updation of pension, revision of family pension should also be resolved. They said that after massive response in the nationwide strike on Dec 21, and today it has been resolved to further chalk out agitational program.