Unions call off strike in light of demonetisation

Trade unions have postponed their strike plans to help Centre’s demonetisation process proceed without any hindrance.

Grameen Bank, with 25,000 rural branches, has decided to postpone its strike to January, while the Federation of LPG Distributors of India wrote to the Oil Ministry saying they would be postponing their protest—and their planned nation-wide indefinite strike—in light of the demonetisation drive.

Representatives of the All India Grameen Bank Workers Organisation and the All India Grameen Bank Officers Organisation on Sunday met officials of the Department of Financial Services to discuss the strike.

“We met the Additional Secretary and we decided to support the Government’s demonetisation move because Grameen Bank caters to 25,000 branches and has 15,000 business correspondents in villages,” said Madan Diwan, a social economist and businessman who brokered the meeting between the bank and Ministry officials. “We have decided to defer our strike to the first week of January.”

The Grameen Bank workers were threatening to go on strike due to issues with the Government on payment parity, lack of pension, and gratuity and overtime issues.

Additional Secretary Girish Chandra Murmu, who met the Grameen Bank union representatives, was unavailable for comment.

The Grameen unions had earlier on October 29 called for a nation-wide dharna on November 21 and December 5-7. All such agitations have been deferred to the first week of January 2017.

Safety concerns

Additionally, the Federation of LPG Distributors of India wrote to Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan stating that they too would be deferring their agitation in light of the demonetisation move.

“The protest has been postponed in favour of the demonetisation drive to support our Prime Minister in his effort to eradicate black money and disable counterfeit currency in national interest,” according to the letter. “We fully support the Government and are committed to provide uninterrupted supplies to our valuable customers.”

The LPG distributors were set to launch a nation-wide strike on December 1 and an indefinite strike starting December 15 if Mr Pradhan’s office failed to hold talks regarding safety concerns they had raised about the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

Grameen Bank defers stir as it caters to 25,000 branches and has 15,000 business correspondents

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