Reforms in the sector are harming public sector banks, say unions

A large number of officers and employees of various public sector banks staged a demonstration outside the Central Bank of India’s regional office at Benz Circle here as part of the All India strike called by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) on Wednesday demanding immediate wage revision and protesting against banking reforms.

Addressing the impressive gathering, K.S. Rao of All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), K. Raghuram of All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), P.L. Prakash of National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), G. Syam Babu of All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA), R. Ajay Kumar of Bank Employees’ Federation of India (BEFI) and V.V. Ramana of Indian National Bank Officers’ Confederation (INBOC) said that the unabated price rise has eroded the income of employees, and the banking sector was sought to be de-regulated and liberalised in the name of reforms which, they alleged, were doing a great deal of harm to public sector banks.

‘More work’

The union leaders said that the Consumer Price Index had gone up by almost 2,400 points since November 2007 and it caused a major dent in the wages of officers and employees. Besides, workload in the banks has increased substantially due to a spurt in the volume of business and the inadequate number of staff and officers, whose job profile has also changed in the current scenario.

Revision of wages and also service conditions has become due from November 1, 2012 consequent upon the 9 Bipartite Settlement coming to an end on October 31, 2012.

As regards reforms, the banks’ officers and employees said that the proposed reduction of Government’s equity capital in banks to less than 51 per cent was apparently meant to privatise the public sector banks. ‘Merger of some banks to become international banks’ would have adverse implications on the banks’ performance and their officers and employees. There are other issues to be resolved urgently by the Central Government and Indian Bank’s Association.

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