Bharat Bandh today; Banking, Transport and Other Services to be affected – All you need to know

A joint forum of central trade unions has called for a two-day nationwide strike starting today to protest against Central government policies that affect workers.

Trade unions, including INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, and UTUC are part of the joint forum. All Indian Trade Union Congress General Secretary Amarjeet Kaur has said that the forum is expecting participation of over 20 crore formal and informal workers with mass mobilization of workers across the country.

The strike is expected to hit the rural parts also, where informal workers of farming and other sectors will join the protest. Here’s all you need to know

  1. The strike notices have been given by workers’ unions of various sectors such as coal, steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, copper, banks and insurance.
  2. Unions in the railways and defence sector will carry out mass mobilization in support of the strike at several places.
  3. The unions’ demands include the scrapping of the proposed changes in labour laws, privatisation of any form and the national monetisation pipeline.
  4. Increased allocation of wages under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act) and regularisation of contract workers are also part of their demands.
  5. Workers of roadways, transport and electricity departments have also decided to join the strike in spite of the impending threat of ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act).
  6. The Maharashtra government has invoked the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) barring employees of state-run electricity companies from joining the protest.
  7. The power ministry has advised all the state-run utilities and other agencies to be on high alert and ensure round-the-clock electricity supply and stability of the national grid. The advisory has been issued to all states, central public sector undertakings, central electricity authority, national load dispatch centre and regional load dispatch centres.
  8. Power supply to those engaged in essential services such as hospitals, defence, and railways must be ensured.
  9. Bank employees’ unions said they will support the strike. All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C H Venkatachalam said the union demands the government to stop privatisation of public sector banks and strengthen them.
  10. Bank employees also demand speedy recovery of bad loans, higher deposit rates by banks, lower service charges on customers as well as restoration of old pension scheme for staff.

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2-Day Bharat Bandh Called By Trade, Bank Unions Begins
2-Day Bharat Bandh Called By Trade, Bank Unions Begins

Banking Services Partially Hit In 2-Day Bharat Bandh: 10 Points to Know

The Bharat Bandh call for the nationwide strike was given by a joint forum of central trade unions, to protest against government policies affecting workers, farmers, and people.

Here is your 10-point guide to this story:

  1. Banking services were partially impacted as a section of employees did not report for duty, news agency PTI reported. Transactions at many public sector banks have been impacted delays were expected in cheque clearances. However, there was barely any impact on the functioning of most private sector banks
  2. The impact of the strike is prominent in eastern India as many branches of public sector banks there are closed, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) General Secretary CH Venkatachalam said. In the other regions, branches are open as officers are present but services are being impacted due to many employees participating in the strike, he said
  3. Bank unions are protesting against the government move to privatise two public sector banks as announced in this year’s Union Budget. They are also demanding an increase in interest rate on deposits and reduction in service charges..
  4. Roads in Left-ruled Kerala, where trade unions hold considerable sway, wore a deserted look, and only a few private vehicles could be seen. Buses run by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) were off the roads.
  5. However, emergency services have been excluded from the strike. The Kerala High Court has also restrained five unions at the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) from participating. The police in the state have made arrangements for those who need emergency travel facilities to reach railway stations and hospitals.
  6. In West Bengal, even though the trade unions could be seen protesting on the streets, the state government has asked all offices to remain open and ordered employees to report for duty. Members from the Left Front gathered in huge numbers and blocked railway tracks at the Jadavpur Railway Station in Kolkata.
  7. The call for the nationwide strike was given by a joint forum of central trade unions, to protest against government policies affecting workers, farmers, and people. Other than the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), almost all other trade unions are participating in the strike, news agency ANI reported.
  8. Amarjeet Kaur, All Indian Trade Union Congress General Secretary, told news agency PTI that they are expecting participation of over 20 crore formal and informal workers with mass mobilisation of workers across the country. Workers in the entire coal mining belt in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have joined the protest, she said.
  9. The unions in railways and defence sector are also expected to mobilise in support of strike at several hundreds of spots. Roadways, transport workers and electricity workers have decided to join the strike besides those from sectors such as steel, oil, telecom, coal, postal, income tax, copper, and insurance.
  10. The Power Ministry advised all the state-run utilities and other agencies to be on high alert and ensure round-the-clock electricity supply and stability of the national grid. Power supply to those engaged in essential services such as hospitals, defence, and railways must be ensured, the ministry’s advisory said and suggested setting up of a 24×7 control room for information dissemination and handling any kind of contingency.
Bharat Bandh Today Live Updates, March 28, 2022: Banking Transport  Services, Trade Unions, Public Sector Banks Closed, Railways, Delhi, Uttar  Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar Bandh Latest News

All India Bank Employees Association Calls for All-India Bank Strike for Two Days

Union workers and political activists blocked rail tracks and highways at many places in Bengal on Monday in support of the Bharat Bandh announced by a collective forum of trade unions.

The strike notices were given by workers’ unions of various sectors such as coal, steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, copper, banks, and insurance. Unions in the railways and defense sector will carry out mass mobilization in support of the strike at several places, the joint forum said.

The unions’ demands include the scrapping of the proposed changes in labor laws, privatization of any form, and the national monetization pipeline. Increased allocation of wages under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act) and regularisation of contract workers are also part of their demands.

Workers of roadways, transport, and electricity departments have also decided to join the strike in spite of the impending threat of ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act) which is likely to be imposed in Haryana and Chandigarh, the joint forum said in a statement.

Trade unions, including INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, and UTUC are part of the joint forum. Meanwhile, the power ministry on Sunday advised all the state-run utilities and other agencies to be on high alert and ensure round-the-clock electricity supply and stability of the national grid.

Trade Unions Call Two-Day Bharat Bandh From March 28, Here'S What Could Be  Affected | News - Times Of India Videos

In the interest of the consumers of electricity, it is advised that all the power utilities shall take necessary measures to ensure round-the-clock functioning of the electricity grid and availability of all plants, transmission lines, and substations, the ministry said, adding that all regional/state control room executives should be vigilant and on high alert.

The ministry also suggested measures to be taken to ensure secure and reliable grid operations.

Shutdown activities planned during March 28-29 may be rescheduled to suitable future dates to the extent possible, it said and asked all concerned officials to ensure close supervision of their regional network/control area. Also, manpower may be deployed at all critical sub-stations/power stations 24X7 to handle any emergency situation, it said.

Power supply to those engaged in essential services such as hospitals, defense, and railways must be ensured, it added and suggested setting up of a 24×7 control room for information dissemination and handling any kind of contingency. Bank employees’ unions said they will support the strike.

All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General Secretary CH Venkatachalam said the union demands the government to stop the privatization of public sector banks and strengthen them. Bank employees also demand speedy recovery of bad loans, higher deposit rates by banks, lower service charges on customers as well as restoration of old pension schemes for staff.

A number of public sector banks, including the country’s largest lender SBI, have said that their services may get impacted to a limited extent due to the strike.

Bharat Bandh 2022 Key Points

  • The bandh has been called to protest against the Economic Policies of Indian Government.
  • This is the first such strike after the BJP won the Assembly elections in four of five states.
  • Reduced rate of interest on Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, rising fuel prices, are among a few reasons for the Bandh call.
  • Roadways and transport sector workers and electricity workers too have decided to join the strike, leading top apprehensions that these services could be badly hit in some states.
  • Functioning of banks and financial institutions is likely to be affected by the strike as bank unions too have joined the strike call.
  • The strike notices have been given by unions in the sectors such as coal, steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, copper, banks, insurance among others.
  • The police have arranged for a travel facility to help people reach destinations like railway stations, hospitals etc.
  • The unions in railways and defence sector would be making mass mobilization in support of strike at several hundreds of spots.
  • The central trade unions which are part of this joint forum are INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC.
  • The Platform of Central Trade Unions and Sectoral Federations and Associations calls upon all sections of society to extend their support to the strike called under the slogan ‘Save People, Save Nation’.