Rally of Bank workers in Delhi, 30-31 May 2018
On 30th May 2018, thousands of bank workers militantly demonstrated in front of the Head Office of State Bank of India on Parliament street in Delhi. Similar was the sight in front bank head offices and branches all over India.
More than a million bank workers and officers throughout the country have struck work on 30th and 31st May to press for their demand of hike in salaries.
The strike was led by the United Forum of Bank Unions. This is an umbrella organisation of public sector bank unions and federations and includes All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India bank Officers Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC), National Organization of Bank Workers (NOBW) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).
Bank workers dharna demonstration in Mumbai, 30-31 May 2018
In Mumbai thousands of bank employees women, men and youth marched to Azad maidan in the sweltering heat to demonstrate for their just demands of appropriate wage revision on 30th May 2018.
Comrade Suhas Sawant of INBEF, Comrade Ramanath Kini of NOBW, Comrade K.K. Nair of INBOC, Comade Ansar Ali of BEFI, Comrade Jagdish Shringarpure of NCBE, Comrade Narendara Kotialwala of AIBOA addressed the crowds with militant speeches and slogans to fight unitedly till their demands are met. Slogans given were “Ek per hamla Sab per hamla”, “United Forum Zindabad”, “IBA ki tanashahi pe halla bol”, “Ladke Lenge “ IBA hai hai, etc.
During the many meetings held in these two days, many speakers talked about the reasons of why banks are in loss. They pointed out that the ever increasing NPAs of 12 big corporates of more than 2.58 lac crores was the reason of loss. Banks have to book NPA amounting to 1.70 lac crore rupees. The NPA in public sector banks as on Dec 2017 is Rs 7.77 lac crores out of which 84% of NPA are from big corporates. Thus losses are due to big corporates on the other hand customers using bank services are penalised by reduced interest rates and increasing charges on the services. In the last five years the bank business has increased from 84 lac crores to 201 lac crores.
The bank branches have increased from 67930 to more than one lakh. Business has increased from Rs 18.79 crores to 27.30 cr per employee while staff cost in relation to total expenses has gone down from 13.72% to 10.01%. Employees are burdened with extra load of work due to down sizing and in executing cash transaction of various government schemes which are implemented through banks, like Atal Pension Yojana, Demonetisation, Jan Dhan, Mudra etc. On the other hand, the inflation index has increased from 4440 index point to 6,574 index points i.e. increase by 2134 points.
Bank workers thorugh-out the country have been agitating for an increase in their pay scales for a long time. In spite of repeated warnings about the delay in revision of pay scales, the Indian Banks Association and the government have turned a deaf ear. The bank workers are angry at the delays and the strike is a result of that.
The United Forum of Bank Unions have demanded that salary revision agreement must be done most urgently, there should be sufficient hike in wages and there should be improvement in the working conditions. It wants the officers in the seventh scale to be included in the salary revision agreement.