Bharat Bandh On March 28, 29 Across India: Banks, Transport, Electricity Workers Join Strike Against Govt

Bharat Bandh On March 28, 29 Across India: Banks, Transport, Electricity Workers Join Strike Against Govt
Bharat Bandh On March 28, 29 Across India: Banks, Transport, Electricity Workers Join Strike Against Govt

A nationwide strike on March 28 and 29 has been called by a joint forum of central trade unions, supported by the All India Bank Employees Association.

They are protesting the Central government’s policies affecting workers, farmers, and people in general.

Points Of Contention

The joint forum aid that the Centre has “intensified the attacks on the working people”, by:

  • Reducing the interest rate on EPF accumulations to 8.1% from 8.5%
  • Sudden hike in petrol, LPG, kerosene, CNG etc., 
  • Taking steps to implement their programme of monetisation (PSU land bundles) but are held back only because of the worsening inflation and crashing share markets.

Banking Sector

A meeting had taken place on March 22 where the trade unions announced that they would protest against the Centre’s “anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people and anti-national policies”.

The bank unions are targeting the government’s plan to privatise public sector banks, as well as the Banking Laws Amendment Bill 2021.

Banks have said that the pensions of workers who are about to retire, would not be affected if they participate in the strike

Road And Transport Sector

Roadways, transport workers and electricity workers will also join the strike. 

They will participate despite the impending threat of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), prohibiting any strike by doctors or other categories of the health department employees in the next six months.

Other Parties Joining Or Opposing

Unions in the railways and defence sector will be mobilising en masse in a show of support at several hundreds of spots.

Workers from various other sectors such as coal, steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, copper, and insurance are also expected to participate.

However, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh will not be participating, saying that the strike was ‘politically motivated’ and aimed at the survival of selected political parties.

SBI Issues Notice

SBI has said that banking services may be hit. 

It has advised that work in the bank may be impacted to a limited extent by the strike but it has made “necessary arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices on the days of strike”.

West Bengal

The Bandh will have limited effect in West Bengal since its government issued an order saying all state government offices will remain open and employees have to report to duty.

The Bengal government also said that no casual leave or a half-day leave would be granted to any employee on March 28 and 29.

Absence of employees in those days will be treated as ‘dies-non’ and no salary will be admissible.

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