Over three hundred bank workers participated in a rally held at State Bank of India, Imphal, on the occasion of the All-India Bank Strike on August 5 of 2011. The main speakers were Th. Rohinikumar Singh, former convenor of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU, Manipur State Committee), S. Bijoy Singh, President, Bank Employees Federation of India, S. Indrakumar Singh, UFBU (Manipur State Commitee) and General Secretary of All-Manipur Bank Employees’ Association, L. Suranjoy Singh (IUCB), S. Gopeshwor Sharma, former co-convenor, UFBU (Manipur State Committee).
Rohinikumar Singh declared that this one-day strike is just the beginning of a historic struggle, which has international significance. He pointed out that India and Sri Lanka are the only two countries where there are powerful unions of bank workers today.
Indrakumar Singh challenged the notion of global competitiveness. He questioned why Indian banks should imitate the global banks, which have engaged in wild speculation and caused great harm to the economy in the western capitalist countries.
All the speakers opposed the privatization of public sector banks. They emphasized that the program of privatization, liberalization and globalization is not for the welfare of the working people but for the capitalists to maximize their profits. It is a program which has widened the gap between the rich and the poor. Speakers pointed out that a World Bank loan has been taken for recapitalization of banks for the sole reason of imposing so-called reform program. They said much more money could have been raised by recovering the loans that big capitalists have not repaid.
The speakers condemned the unrestricted entry of foreign capital in the banking sector. They highlighted that exploitation is highly intense in the private banks, and that is being made the model for all banks. They strongly demanded that working hours of bank officers should be defined and regulated. Bank officers’ associations and employees’ unions unitedly demanded the scrapping of Khandelwal Committee Recommendations, which are totally adverse to the interest of all workers.
The programme concluded with militant slogans including: ”INQUILAB ZINDABAD!”, “OUR UNITY ZINDABAD!” and “OUR SOLIDARITY ZINDABAD!”