Bank unions call for all-India strike on August 22


Chennai—Bank employee unions have called for a nation-wide strike on August 22 to protest against privatisation and merger of public sector banks, among other demands, a union leader said today.      

The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), which represents nine bank unions and employees of public and private sector banks, has called for a nation-wide strike on August 22 to press for various demands, its general secretary C H Venkatachalam said.      

Nearly 10 lakh employees would participate in the strike to protest plans to privatise public sector banks, merger and consolidation of banks and other demands including not to write-off non-performing assets (NPAs) in banks, Venkatachalam said in a statement.      

Some of the other demands put forth by the unions include declaring wilful default of bank loans as criminal offence, implementation of the recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on recovery of NPAs.    

Giving some financials, Venkatachalam claimed that bad loans that were written off by State Bank of India group in the last five years stood at Rs 93,041 crore. While bad loans by the country’s largest public sector lender State Bank of India as of 2016-17 was Rs 20,339 crore, for SBI Group as a whole it was Rs 27,574 crore.      

Stating that people should not be penalised for corporate default, he said after the proposed stir on August 22, a massive rally would be conducted on September 15. Some time in October or November, continuous strike for two days would be conducted, he said.

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