Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Criminal action against wilful defaulters of banks loans demanded

Countrywide Strike against so-called banking reforms 
Ludhiana: 28th February 2017: (Punjab Screen Bureau)::
On the call given by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), one million bank Workmen and Officers are observing country wide Strike TODAY agianst so called banking reforms by the Government. As per decision, United Forum of Bank Unions (Unit : Ludhiana) held a massive demonstration  in front of  Canara Bank, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Ludhiana.  Com. Naresh Gaur, Convener, United Forum of Bank Unions, Com. D P Maur, General Secretary, Joint Council of Trade Unions, Com B S Walia, President, PAU Employees Union, Com. Harvinder Singh, Sr.Vice President, PBEF Ludhiana and Com. Gurmeet Singh from AIBOA addressed the bank employees.  Com. Ashok Malhan, Com. Rajesh Verma, Vice Presidents, Pb. Bank Employees Federation and Com. Parveen Moudgil, Convener, Women Cell, Pb. Bank Employees Federation were also present. 
While addressing the bank employees, Com. Naresh Gaur said The Unions in the banking industry have been fighting for more than 2 decades against the reform measures of the Government as these are against the interests of general public and labour force in the country.  In the name of reform measures, every effort is being made by the successive Governments since 1991 to shift the control of public sector entities to the private and foreign investors. 

In order to create a conducive environment to the private and foreign investors further efforts are being made by the Government to amend the labour laws to suit their needs.  In the banking sector also, there are increasing instances of denial of trade union rights viz. right of representation in the Boards of the Banks, right to collective bargaining, violation of Settlements, questioning to right to strike etc.  Further, every effort is being made to outsource the permanent jobs, in the banking industry too, which is fraught with risks

Hence, UFBU is opposed to the retrograde anti-people banking/labour reforms, the moves of the Government infringing the hard-earned trade union rights and the hazardous practice of outsourcing of permanent jobs.

 The implementation of demonetization and the effects of the same are known to everyone.  The role and the performance of bank employees during the implementation period was appreciated by each and every one including the top management functionaries, Government, customers and the general public.  It is a pity that the day and night hard work and suffering of bank employees and officers are not given due recognition.  The eligible compensation to employees as per bipartite provisions for the extra hours of work performed by them is denied.  Officers were also made to work for long hours and on Sundays/holidays without compensation or with notional payment.

The cost of demonetization as well as the business loss during the demonetization period of nearly two months will have a cascading effect on the balance sheets of the banks, the brunt of which would ultimately fall on the bank employees and officers alone.  It is imperative that the demonetization cost needs to be reimbursed to the Banks by the Government.

Several issues pertaining to the bank employees and officers such as the appointment of workmen/officer employee directors in the boards of many banks, adequate recruitment in all cadres, removal of ceiling on Gratuity, exemption of Income-Tax on Superannuation benefits, improvements in pension/family pension schemes and issues relating to retirees are yet to be resolved.  Despite approval by Government, subsequent to decade long struggle of UFBU, the Compassionate Appointment Scheme is still not introduced in many banks.  Five-day banking is another long pending demand of bank employees and officers.  

The Government is very serious in continuing the retrograde reform measures ignoring the real menace in the banking industry i.e., alarmingly increasing bad loans.  Willful defaulters are also on the increase.  The whole country has so far witnessed that the method of evading repayment also is maximum done by the big and corporate borrowers.  The economy of the country is affected.  There is a need to fix accountability of those responsible for the bad loans.  Criminal action against willful defaulters of bank loans can only reduce such types of irregularities in the banking industry.

On the issues and demands of bank employees and officers including retirees, as mentioned above, it has been unanimously decided by the UFBU to observe One Day All India Bank Strike on the 28th February 2017.

We sincerely regret the inconvenience to the esteemed customers/general public on account of strike by bank employees and appeal for their moral support to our just cause.        

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