All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) on Wednesday said it has extended support to the all India bank strike on October 22, to protest against the government's decision to merge public sector banks.
"We note that All India Bank Employees Association and Bank Employees Federation of India have jointly given the call for all India bank strike on October 22, against the recent decision of the government to merge 10 public sector banks into four banks thus, deciding to close down six important nationalised banks," an AITUC statement said.
The AITUC termed the government's decision as most unfortunate and totally unwarranted.
All the banks who now are facing closures namely Andhra Bank, Allahabad Bank, Syndicate Bank, Corporate Bank, United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce are well performing banks and have been greatly contributing for our nation's economic development in their respective geographical areas.
All these banks have a long history behind them and all of them have grown into big banks over the years, the statement said.
At a time, when government is talking of including every citizen into banking access through scheme like Jan Dhan yojana, etc, announcing the PSU bank merger, which will result in large scale closure of branches and deprive people of banking service is a most retrograde move, it added.
"So far there is no evidence that previous mergers in SBI, Bank of Baroda, etc have yielded any positive results. This is not the time to experiment with merger of banks when banks are required to play a crucial role in lifting the economy out of its present serious mess and crisis," it said.
In fact, the entire attention of banks will now shift from efforts to recover the huge bad loans to tacking the problems arising out of mergers. This appears to be a deliberate move, since government is unable to take any serious measure to recover the bad loans from the corporate defaulters except through huge write off, haircuts and concessions, it said.
"Bank mergers are ill-timed and ill-motived. We appreciate the timely struggle of AIBEA and BEFI and support their all India strike on October 22, 2019. This struggle needs to be further continued and intensified as mergers are a prelude to privatise the Banks," it added.