Maha: 30K bank employees join 2-day all-India strike

Mumbai, March 28 (IANS) Around 30,000 employees of 7,000 branches of various government, private, foreign and other banks, including 5,000 workers from Mumbai, halted work on the first-day of the two-day nationwide bank strike, organisers said here on Monday.
The bank employees organised demonstrations, sit-in protests, processions and rallies near their workplaces in different cities and towns protesting against the privatisation of banks undertaken by the Centre.
Over 5,000 bank workers carrying banners and placards joined a rally at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai, raising slogans against the government with top union leaders like ex-AIBEA President Suresh Dhopeshwarkar, MSBEF General Secretary Devidas Tuljapurkar, Joint Secretary Devdas Menon, AIBOA Secretary N. Shankar, AIUBEF General Secretary Nandkumar Chavan and others addressing the gathering.
While lauding the employees for their spontaneous response to the strike action, they also expressed regrets to the millions of bank customers for the inconvenience caused by the two-day nationwide agitation.
They explained that the strike was not pertaining to their economic demands or improvements in service condition but to strongly oppose the ongoing bank privatisation programme, which would jeopardise the security of the common man’s hard-earned savings.
The organisers further warned that if the government remained adamant and pursued its bank privatisation agenda, all the banking unions will continue to oppose aggressively through more strikes and other forms of protests.
On Tuesday, the second day of the strike, the bank employees plan to move around in the field for a public outreach initiative, connect with the maximum number of people and explain to them the dangers of bank privation, besides soliciting their support against the government’s policy.
Simultaneously, the bank unions have taken up an extensive campaign to involve and associate bank depositors, beneficiaries of bank nationalisation and the common masses to join or organise tough resistance against the government policy, said Tuljapurkar.

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