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`Government must intervene’

Sunday 9 April 2006

Special Correspondent

Left concerned over strike by SBI staff

CPI(M) says pension for SBI employees not revised for 12 years CPI wants Prime Minister to intervene

NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday demanded the intervention of the Central Government in the State Bank of India employees strike.

``It is incumbent upon the Government to immediately intervene and see that there is a settlement of the legitimate demands of the employees,’’ the party Polit Bureau said in a statement.

As continuance of the strike would aggravate the problems faced by customers and business, it said there had been no revision of pension for the past 12 years in the SBI and for a variety of reasons employees were getting only a depressed pension amount.

Communist Party of India MP, Gurudas Dasgupta, urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to end the stalemate and invite representatives of the employees for discussions.

Mr. Dasgupta, who heads the All-India Trade Union Congress, in a telegram to the Prime Minister said that he was aggrieved at the refusal of the Finance Ministry to allow the SBI management to concede the demand out of bank funds.

``I understand that the management of the State Bank of India had agreed to revise the pension scheme without straining its financial resources. To my great surprise, I learnt that the Finance Ministry has refused to approve the proposal of the management,’’ Mr. Dasgupta said. The Finance Minister, he said, had refused to meet the leaders of the SBI employees and insisted that they withdraw the strike as a pre-condition for discussions.

The CPI leader said that while the Government talked about the autonomy of the public sector, it restrained the management of a public sector unit like the SBI to deal with the problems of its employees itself.

Stating that it was the National Democratic Alliance Government, which always refused to talk to the employees when they struck work, he said, the United Progressive Alliance Government could not take a similar stance.

See online : The Hindu

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