The Guardian November 22, 2000


All India bank strike a success

More than one million bank officers and employees went on strike and 
banking operations were paralysed throughout India on November 15.

In Delhi, a massive demonstration was held on the Parliament Street, where 
leaders pointed out that in spite of good results and excellent performance 
by banks, the Government was trying to denationalise the Banks and hand 
them over to the big public houses.

The Government has ignored the repeated requests of the Unions to take 
effective measures to recover bad loans from industry and the corporate 
sector.

Instead, it was trying to hand over these banks to these very defaulters.

In Calcutta Shri S Bardhan the General Secretary of the Bank Employees' 
Federation of India (BEFI) congratulated 1,300,000 bank employees of the 
country, working in public and private sector banks, regional banks, co-
operative banks and Reserve Bank, for the hundred per cent success of the 
strike against the Government's decision to privatise the public sector 
banks, and the attempt to introduce voluntary redundancy schemes and reduce 
the retirement age from 60 to 58 years.

There was a total strike in all North East States, the Eastern States like 
Bihar, Bengal Orissa, the Southern States of Tamil Naidu, Kerala, etc, in 
the Northern States as well as in western India.

The Reserve Bank Employees' Association and the Reserve Bank Employees and 
officers observed a full day's strike.

The clearing operation of National Clearing Cell was totally paralysed 
affecting the clearance of thousands of cheques.

The united action, which paralysed the entire banking industry for the day, 
demonstrated the determination of bank employees to fight back against the 
anti-employee, anti-people and anti-nation moves and actions of the 
Government as it appeases the World Bank and the International Monetary 
Fund.

It is hoped that the Government will take an appropriate note of the mood 
of bank employees and reverse all such moves and actions.

BEFI took the opportunity to thank the left and other political parties 
along with the central trade unions for their support for the struggle of 
the bank employees.

The anti-national and anti-employee policies of the Central Government will 
have disastrous effect on the national economy and will severely jeopardise 
the service security of the bank employees and the national economy.

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From India News Network (INN)

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