Global banking trade union meet in Kerala capital from Sunday

The main theme of the convention is ‘Challenges before the banking sector and trade union responses’

The All India Bank Officers’ Confederation and ‘The Global Labour University’ will jointly organise what is being touted as the ‘first global banking trade union convention’ for three days here from Sunday.

The main theme of the convention is ‘Challenges before the banking sector and trade union responses,’ according to Soumya Datta, General Secretary of the Confederation.

Global changes

Eminent banking trade unionists from within the country and abroad will take part. Among them are representatives of the International Labor Organisation as well as economists and social activists.

Prominent on the list are CP Chandrasekhar, Prasenjit Bose, Partha Pratim Pal, Usha Ramanathan, Meenakshi Rajeev, Rammanohar Reddy, Pradip Biswas, and Ritobroto Maitra from within the country.

Those from abroad include Paulo Malerba and Javier Ghibandhi from Brazil and Tom Pasemann and Christoph Scherrer from Germany.

The convention will seek to understand the global changes taking place in banking and critically look at the policies propounded by the Basel Committee, the Financial Stability Board, and the Central Banks.

It will share experiences of different countries and highlight the success stories and alternatives and seek to debunk the myth that ‘if public sector banks do not perform well, they create huge NPAs,’ Datta said

Reckless lending

The myth, he said, owes its genesis to the policies of reckless lending to the corporate sector contributing to the NPAs, a fact that is conveniently ignored by authorities.

The session will also to come out with coping strategies and build global alliances to safeguard the banking industry with special focus on public banking.

Datta noted that there is very little sharing of problems and experiences at the few international level meetings which not all union representatives can hope to participate and, which, in any case, have not yet spawned any major campaign of resistance.

“Hence the need for a global convention to discuss the various onslaughts on the industry, record successful responses, and build networks,” he said.

The broad themes suggested for deliberations are on ways to keep banks committed to the public mission; macro-economic policies, prescriptions, and role of finance capital; financial markets, privatisation of banks and impacts; technological changes and imperatives for future of work; and assessment of financial inclusion.