TAMIL NADU

Trade unions hit out at UPA's `anti-worker' policies

Employees organise meetings, rallies in Kurnool, Chittoor and other districts

KURNOOLNELLORE: Bank employees have demanded merger of private banks with public sector ones keeping in view the episode of Global Trust Bank.

Addressing a demonstration of bank employees at Central Plaza as part of the general strike on Thursday, convener of the United Forum of Bank Unions V.G.S. Karunakar said all sick private banks were being merged with nationalised banks as a last stage, which increased the burden on nationalised banks.

He said that the burden of GTB was absorbed by Oriental Bank of Commerce. When nationalised banks were made to carry the burden of sick banks, where was the need for continuing private banks, he asked.

The union leaders opposed merger of banks and financial reforms that affected the common man. They demanded that the Government recover bad loans from large borrowers by invoking criminal laws.

Work hit

Employees of all 25 banks consisting of over 50 branches in the city joined the strike crippling the work. Branches of private banks like ICICI, Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank did not function in solidarity with employees of public sector banks.

Union leaders - Rajendra Kumar, Mohan Reddy, Nagaraju, S. Raju and others spoke. Supporters of Left parties demonstrated at the Collectorate as part of the strike.

Special Correspondent adds:

TIRUPATI: The one-day nationwide general strike called by the trade unions had thrown the banking and commercial activities out of gear in the temple cities of Tirupati and Tirumala. Worst hit were the banking, insurance and the telecom sectors with their staff boycotting duties en masse and participating in the strike.

Some 1,000 thousand Bank employees working in the public and private sector banks, urban cooperative and Grameena Banks gathered under the banner of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) in front of the local branch of the State Bank of Hyderabad here and held anti-government demonstrations.

Slogans raised

Carrying placards and banners they also raised slogans in support of their charter of demands.

Leaders who addressed the demonstrators strongly condemned the overtures of the UPA Government towards privatisation as also the amalgamation of the public sector banks, disinvestment move and the manoeuvres to hike the FDI cap in the Government banks much to the detriment of the public sector banks.

Life and General insurance operations also remained disrupted with the staff working in all the local branches of the LIC and other general insurance companies joining the strike protesting against the increase in the ceiling on FDI in the public sector insurance companies and demanding recruitment in basic cadres and protection of pension fund and so on.

UPA criticised

A large number of Medical and Sales Representatives under the banner of the FMRAI affiliated to the CITU and AITUC also joined the rally taken out by different trade unions in this connection and held demonstrations at all busy junctions vehemently criticising the UPA government for its alleged violation of the Common Minimum Programme.

The CITU and AITUC in a statement claimed that the strike was a `total success' in the temple cities and in the entire Chittoor district as well and warned that the UPA must take the right warning from the nationwide strike and make immediate amends to its wrong and anti-employees policies.

Little impact

KURNOOLNELLORE: The one-day strike had little impact in Nellore district and did not affect normal public life. With no hindrance for transport, the official machinery functioned as usual. However, the strike paralysed banking and other financial services besides the LIC. The Head Post Office and the Central Telegraph Office remained closed and gate meetings were addressed by trade unionists, who denounced the anti-worker policies of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government.

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