Millennium Post

Bank staff to join Sept 2 strike against ‘anti-worker’ Govt

“There have been increasing attacks in the banking industry and the government has been taking steps which are anti-people. It’s attempting to privatise state-run banks and merge associate banks with State Bank of India. It is also looting the public money in the name of bad loans,” All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C H Venkatchalam said here on Thursday.

“To protest against all these, we will be joining the national strike called by other labour unions on September 2.” On March 30, all central trade unions such as INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, UTUC and LPF had given a one-day national general strike call on September 2 to protest against the Modi government’s “unilateral labour reforms and anti-worker policies”.

The RSS-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has, however, decided to keep away. Last year too, the unions had gone on strike on September 2 to oppose the amendments in labour laws by the Centre as well as states, saying their 12-point charter of demands had not been met. 

The unions have been opposing certain proposed labour law amendments that allow hire and fire, make it tougher to form labour unions and dilute existing social security available to workers at different fora. 

Under the proposed Industrial Relations Code Bill 2015, companies with up to 300 headcount need not get government nod for retrenchment, lay off and closure. The government is also working on a Small Factories Bill that seeks to exempt units with under 40 workers from 14 labour laws.

These 10 unions claim a combined membership of 15 crore workers in public and private sector enterprises, including banks and insurance companies. On the massive rise in bad loans, which have touched the Rs 13 trillion mark, he alleged that instead of taking tough measures to book culprits and recover the money, more and more concessions are being given to defaulters. He did not elaborate. He went on to say that “in the name of cleaning the bank balancesheets, these bad loans are being taken out of public glare so that they could be silently written off”. 

Making the point that while regional rural banks are being privatised and a central law has already been passed, he said primary agricultural co-operative societies are under the threat of closure and urban co-operative banks face delicensing. 

EPFO members can now fix pension without employer attestation
Retirement fund body EPFO has introduced a simplified Universal Account Number based form, 10-D, for its subscribers for fixing their pension without employers’ attestation. At present, the subscribers seeking pension under the Employees’ Pension Scheme 1995 has to get his pension claim application attested from the employer to fix the retirement benefit after superannuation. 

“A simplified UAN-based pension claim Form 10-D-UAN has been introduced,” the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) said in press release. According to statement, the claim form can be used by members whose AADHAR number and bank details have been seeded in the Universal Account Number (UAN) and have been duly verified by the employer using digital signature and the employee details are available in Form 11 (New). The new form does not require attestation by employer and can be submitted directly to concerned EPFO offices. 

So far, more than 7.34 crore UAN have been allotted to EPF members. The body talked about implementation of its earlier decision of providing higher pension to those subscribers deferring pension beyond the age of 58 years. It said, “EPF members now have an option to enhance their pensionary benefits. The benefits are available to those members who opt to defer their pension beyond 58 years up to 60 years of age with or without contribution after the age of 58 years. The option when exercised increases original pension by 4 per cent in case of completion of one year and 8.16 per cent in case of completion of 2 years after 58 years. When members opt to defer the pension with contribution, the additional contributory service after 58 years of age will be included while calculating pensionable service and pensionable salary.” 
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