Money & Banking

On 70th founding day of bank staff movement, unions pledge to fight privatisation

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 24, 2018

Bank employees across the country are gearing up to celebrate the 70th Founding Day of the Bank Employees Movement in India on Monday.

The AIBEA (All India Bank Employees Association), which celebrates this day year-after-year, considers the 70th Founding Day more special in many ways as members resolve to further strengthen themselves by uniting and reminding of the tasks in the coming days.

“Government’s economic policies are drifting in favour of the rich and against the common masses. When trade unions and workers unite and fight against these anti-people policies, more and more attacks will be mounted on the working masses. It is a situation of multiplicity of challenges and multiple tasks and time to say “we will fight back.”

“We have to fight against the avowed policy of the government to issue banking licences to corporate and business houses, against the present model of private banking correspondents, privatisation of Regional Rural Banks and for an effective Cooperative banking system and many more. Militant struggles are the only way,” AIBEA General Secretary CH Venkatachalam said.

In one of his earlier interviews with BusinessLine, Venkatachalam noted that the unions were emerging stronger both numerically and with infusion of young blood who understood the challenges.

“The social composition of union membership might have changed, but new employees are aware of their responsibilities. Connecting with young people is the way forward, but grooming these youngsters could be a bigger challenge,” he said.

While the total number of employees in the banking industry seems huge, banks are actually understaffed.

The total business of the banks was ₹40 lakh crore, five years ago.

It has risen to over ₹1.20 lakh crore; 25,000 branches have been opened in six years, but the total staff strength despite recruitment of 3 lakh persons remains the same.

“The new recruits are not adequately trained; there is, therefore, extreme pressure,” he noted.

With banks resorting to non-bank business income and commission income – an unknown territory for bankers – employees are subjected to new pressures, he said, highlighting the association’s resolve to fight such issues.

Published on April 19, 2015

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